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Social Circle sets April 23 deadline for city manager applications
Adele Schirmer
Adele Schirmer - photo by Special to The News

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. — An April 23 deadline has been set for applications for the city manager position in Social Circle to replace Adele Schirmer.

Schirmer, who has served as city manager for five and a half years, will not be rehired after her contract expires June 30, Mayor David Keener has said.

Interviews for the position will begin in late May, according to an ad for the position on the Georgia Municipal Association website.

The salary for the position will be between $110,000 and $127,000. 

Social Circle’s manager oversees a staff of 60 full-time workers and some part-time employees and volunteers in 12 departments. It operates on a $15.1 million budget, including a $6 million general fund, the ad states.

The ad posted by the search firm The Mercer Group stated that city officials wanted a manager “who will be an experienced, ethical and dedicated leader who can quickly gain the confidence of the community.” 

It stated the city manager “must possess the ability to build community trust through the development of partnerships with various stakeholders and other government entities.”

“The ideal candidate will demonstrate the ability to embrace change and focus on continuous improvement. 

“He/she will be expected to articulate a vision of excellence, establish credibility and consistency in delivery of services, as well as be a creative problem solver and excellent communicator in response to unique opportunities in Social Circle.”

In April 2020, the City Council met in a lengthy executive session before voting not to automatically renew the city manager’s contract for another year, the Tribune reported. 

The contract would have automatically renewed last fall if the council had not taken the action. 

Keener told The Walton Tribune in February that, “It appears that the criteria necessary to extend the contract of the current city manager does not exist.”

“Out of an abundance of caution, the city will start an exhaustive search to fill the position,” he said. “To wait any later in the year to start the recruiting process would not allow the City Council adequate time to find a qualified replacement.”

Keener congratulated Schirmer on her “excellent leadership” as Social Circle’s chief administrative officer.

“She has made a real difference and accomplished a great deal for our citizens,” the mayor said.

Schirmer came to Social Circle from Blacksburg, Virginia, after being the lone finalist out of 43 applicants for the city manager position in 2015.

She succeeded Ross Hubbard, who was interim city manager for four months after longtime City Manager Doug White was terminated.

Schirmer told the Tribune she wishes, “nothing but the best for the city of Social Circle.”

“The skill set needed from a city manager in 2015 was, in the perspective of the mayor and council, that which I could best provide,” Schirmer said in an email. 

“At this time, I respect that the mayor and council are seeking a different skill set going forward.”

Schirmer began the job with Social Circle in October 2015 after serving as director of engineering and geographic information systems for Blacksburg, where she had worked for 26 years. 

She said the staff worked collectively to expand Stanton Memorial Library, establish Friendship Park and improve the water, sewer and gas systems. She also said the city improved its fire ISO rating from a 4/10 to a 2/10. 

She also touted Social Circle’s Vision 2020 comprehensive plan, sidewalk and trails master plan and participation in the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing.