by Jason Wright / Appen Newspapers
February 03, 2009 MILTON — City Hall officials announced Feb. 3 that Public Safety Director Chris Lagerbloom, who was sworn in for a third time as acting city manager the day before, is council's leading choice for the permanent position.
If there are any other candidates, nobody is saying.
Mayor Joe Lockwood appointed Lagerbloom, who at 11 months as interim manager has served as Milton's city manager longer than any of the three previous job holders. Lockwood said giving Lagerbloom the job permanently had been on his mind since Milton hired Mort Smedley to a four-month interim contract in October.
Smedley was an experienced manager, but he was also a semi-retired 2nd mate on a research vessel. He recently opted out of his contract a month early for more time at sea.
"Chris had expressed a desire for the job a while back," said the mayor.
Lockwood said Lagerbloom's assertiveness and comfort level with council, City Hall staff and Milton's citizens were big factors in his position as front runner for the permanent job.He gained that experience after stepping into Milton's top spot from August to April 2008 following the resignation of Aaron Bovos. Lagerbloom filled in a second time after Billy Beckett left Milton in September 2008."You know, sometimes you don't truly find something until you come back home," said Lockwood.
Lagerbloom has been with Milton since before the city incorporated, serving as the Public Safety work team leader for the city's steering committee.
On Dec. 1, 2006, he was appointed public safety director and oversaw the herculean task of launching the municipality's police and fire services, which went online nearly a year before those of sister city Johns Creek. "I am very excited about this opportunity," said Lagerbloom. "Having lived in Milton for nearly two decades, I have a lot of faith in the city and would be honored to help lead Milton in this position."
Lockwood said what Lagerbloom may lack in classic city manager experience he more than makes up for other areas."We have the resources [for him to learn]," said the mayor. "He'll research something if he doesn't know it. You know, attitude and willingness to work can offset experience."However, Lockwood was cautious to point out an official vote needs to be taken on the matter. That vote is expected in a few weeks to give the city time to legally advertise his appointment."Nothing is set in stone until it happens," Lockwood said.
Prior to joining Milton, Lagerbloom served as captain for the Alpharetta Police Department for 11 years. He has been an adjunct instructor at Reinhardt College since early 2008 teaching classes in public safety leadership.Lagerbloom also is co-chair of the State Certification Committee for the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police and a council-appointed member of the Alpharetta Code Enforcement Board. Lagerbloom is also a member of the International Association of City/County Managers, Georgia Municipal Association and International Association of Chiefs of Police.Lagerbloom holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Georgia State University and a master's degree in public administration from Columbus State University. He is also a graduate of the Georgia Law Enforcement Command College and the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police Executive Class.