Social Circle will move on from City Manager Adele Schirmer after five years. In a statement to The Tribune Monday morning, Mayor David Keener said the city would begin “soliciting information from professional placement companies” about potential candidates to serve as the next city manager. Schirmer’s contract expires June 30.
“It appears that the criteria necessary to extend the contract of the current city manager does not exist,” according to Keener. “Out of an abundance of caution, the city will start an exhaustive search to fill the position. 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, an International City/County Management Association credentialed manager, said 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 stated it has been her honor and privilege to serve Social Circle.
“The people who live and work here care deeply about their city and the quality of life within it,” she said. “In addition, this is a very unique place in that so many residents volunteer and community organizations work together to accomplish far more than the city government could do, and take a role in continuing to make things better.”
Social Circle has a skilled and committed staff that enabled her to be successful, according to Schirmer.
“Much appreciation is due to this staff, who are few in number, but huge in capability and effort,” she said. “In fact, it is the employees of the city who deliver the quality of life our community so enjoys. It is always good to recognize those who respond in the middle of a hurricane, flood, midnight water main break, or roadway collapse as well as those who put their lives on the line daily to protect and rescue our residents. I certainly would not claim credit for the accomplishments of this organization. It all takes collective effort, and dedication to the mission of public service embodied by the city staff.”
Schirmer says she remains focused on core values for staff, like honesty, integrity, teamwork, and customer service.
“My role has been to provide the support and create the environment in which staff can excel,” she said.
Schirmer named numerous projects she says were achieved through the staff’s collective efforts. These include expanding Stanton Memorial Library, establishing Friendship Park and improving water, sewer and gas systems. She said the city strived for better communication and transparency though its website, social media, newsletter and streaming of meetings.
Schirmer pointed to the city’s awards in the areas of budgeting, and its improved 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.
“My plans at this time are to support the city through this transition, maintain continuity and transparency of public services, and continue to collaborate and assist as needed,” Schirmer stated.
In April 2020, the City Council met in a lengthy executive session resulting in a vote not to automatically renew the city manager’s contract for another year. Had the council not taken action, Schirmer’s annual contract would have automatically renewed last fall. Keener, who then served on City Council, made the motion to hire Schirmer. She was hired by unanimous vote of the council. Schirmer was the lone finalist out of 43 applicants for the city manager position.
Schirmer began her tenure with Social Circle in October 2015. Prior to managing the city’s day-to-day operations, she served as director of engineering and geographic information systems for Blacksburg, Va. Schirmer served Blacksburg for 26 years where she also oversaw planning and public works.
Schirmer succeeded Ross Hubbard, who was interim city manager for four months after longtime City Manager Doug White was terminated.