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South Fulton city manager one of three finalists for Savannah job

By Ben Brasch, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution #atlanta-ga

South Fulton’s 100,000 residents could be losing the pragmatic bureaucrat who runs their government.

Odie Donald II is one of the three finalists for the Savannah city manager position, Savannah Mayor Van Johnson said Tuesday. Donald is the only Georgia-based candidate in the trio — which also includes administrators from Modesto, California and Mesa, Arizona.

“This is the most important decision we will make for the future of our city,” the mayor said.

Three-year-old South Fulton has created turnover at many key positions, through scandal after scandal, while trying to establish itself.

There have been changes to the city manager, fire chief and head of communications positions during that time. In addition, council members tried and failed to remove the mayor and another council member from office for their roles in a development deal.

Council members also fired the head municipal judge then hired Fani Willis, who quickly left for a successfully bid to become Fulton County District Attorney.

Donald has remained cool-headed through years of heated council meetings, which included council members lobbing allegations at each other of misusing the very city resources Donald managed.

Donald was hired for the South Fulton job in March 2018. He had been the director of Employment Services for Washington, D.C.

The three candidates will be coming to Savannah in the coming weeks, Mayor Johnson said.

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