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Posted: September 13, 2012 9:21 p.m.

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Oxford hires Monticello’s city manager

Oxford has hired a new city manager, as the council voted unanimously Monday to offer a contract to Bob Schwartz, the current city manager in Monticello.

Schwartz will begin his new position around Oct. 15 and will be paid an annual salary of $60,000 on a one-year, automatically-renewing contract, Mayor Jerry Roseberry said Thursday, noting that Schwartz came with excellent qualifications, experience and recommendations and met every one of the city's criteria. Schwartz was selected from about 30 applicants.

"I did the background investigation myself, drawing on my old days as an FBI guy, and everybody said if we can get this guy we should," Roseberry said Thursday. "He hit the top marks everywhere. Bob's at the age where he's ready to settle down in a community like Oxford and finish out his career here."

Roseberry said Oxford officials were impressed by Schwartz's experiences as a city manager in three different cities, as well as a 10-year stint at the Municipal Technical Advisory Service at the University of Tennessee, which provides technical assistance to local governments in a variety of areas, including finance, human resources, legal assistance, public works and other areas.

Schwartz has a bachelor's degree in international studies and a master's degree in public administration from the University of South Carolina.

According to his LinkedIn page, Schwartz has been Monticello's city manager since March 2009. Monticello, like Oxford, purchases electricity from the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia and sells it to customers, a fact that also appealed to Oxford officials.

"(Electricity) is an extremely important part of the city's financial structure, and it's good that he comes with that experience," Roseberry said.

Schwartz has also served as the city manager in Garden City and Americus, which is home to Georgia Southwestern State University and South Georgia Technical College.

"(His higher education experience) was an important addition for us, simply because Emory University has such a large footprint in our town, and a lot of what we've done involves them. He's dealt with the University of Tennessee and Georgia Southwestern and knows how to relate to academics," Roseberry said.

Oxford College is in the process of $16 million-worth of renovations and expansions, including a 10,000 square foot addition to the college's library. The college previously built a new dormitory a few years ago and plans to build a multi-million dollar science center in the future.

"We work with the college greatly on a lot of things; not a week goes by we don't have someone from the college and city corresponding with one another. That's why we're excited about Bob's background... He's familiar with academics, and, as you know, they talk differently from us regular folks," Roseberry said, jokingly. Schwartz's wife is an adjunct Spanish professor at Georgia Perimeter College.

Schwartz's contract will be renewed automatically at the start of every fiscal year, July 1, unless either the city or city manager provide 90 days notice of intent not to renew.

The city only advertised the position through the Georgia Municipal Association and did not pay anything, Roseberry said.

Schwartz, who could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday, will replace Oxford City Manager Clark Miller, who is retiring because of health concerns.

Roseberry once again praised Miller's time with the city, noting that he helped ease employees, citizens and the council through the process of converting to a city manager-type government.

"I can't say enough about Clark. He never said no; he always said, ‘I'll do my best,' and he has," Roseberry said. "I'm sorry his health has given him problems, but we'll do all we can to help him."


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