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Porterdale hires new city manager

PORTERDALE -- Bob Thomson, city administrator for the town of Thunderbolt, near Savannah, has been hired as Porterdale's new city manager.

The City Council unanimously agreed at a special called meeting Wednesday night to authorize Mayor Bobby Hamby to execute a one-year contract with Thomson, who will start work June 1. Both Hamby and Thomson signed the contract Thursday morning.

Thomson, who has been city manager of Thunderbolt since March 2006, will receive an annual salary of $60,000 plus a car allowance of $300 per month and a cell phone allowance of $50 per month.

In addition to his work in Thunderbolt, Thomson has more than 20 years of experience in city management. He is a graduate of Wofford College and the University of Tennessee's public administration program.

Hamby said Thomson stood out among the 35 candidates who applied for the position because of his experience and education.

"He's been the city manager for Smyrna, Sandy Springs, Tybee and Thunderbolt, and then he was the county manager for Oconee at one time," Hamby said. "So he's got a lot of experience, and the council was impressed with him and thought he would be the best choice."

Porterdale has been seeking to fill the city manager position on a permanent basis since the resignation of former manager Tom Fox in February after 13 years with the city in various positions. Councilman Robert Foxworth said a committee reviewed the 35 applications for the job and selected the top six candidates for interviews. The top four candidates from that group were then interviewed by the City Council.

Frank Sherrill of Hightower Consulting Engineers in Social Circle was contracted by the city to act as interim city manager until a permanent hire could be found. Sherrill will remain as interim city manager until the end of May.

Sherrill thanked city leaders Wednesday night for their support during the transition.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed being with you these four months," he said, adding, "I am confident you will be in good hands going forward."

Hamby said Sherrill's service had been an asset to the city.

"Frank has done a wonderful job," Hamby said. "He's stepped in and not only kept the city running smoothly but has made some improvements in the way the city has been operating. So it's just perfect timing and a perfect fit to have Frank come in when he did."

Thomson could not be reached for comment Thursday. According to a press release from the city, Thomson is married to Dr. Dori Stiles and their blended family includes four adult children.