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City of Warner Robins could possibly merge 2 city departments, abolish current director positions

The city may combine Community Development with Economic Development.

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — A plan to merge two city agencies in Warner Robins could mean one person's job may be going away. City council discussed an ordinance Monday night that would abolish two positions -- Community Development Director and Economic Development Director -- to create a single position.

That vote went 4-2 with Derek Mack and Larry Curtis voted ‘no.’

“It does save the city one salary, but I just believe that economic development and community development are two different things, two different entities, they have two different affairs for the city,” said Mack.

Community Development covers Keep Warner Robins Beautiful and Planning and Zoning, while Economic Development handles bringing industry to the city and pushing for growth.

Mayor Randy Toms says the City Administrator David Corbin came up with idea of merging. Toms says he agrees.

“I just don't think that it's actually accomplished what I thought it should have accomplished over the years and so I think that putting them back together under one department, I think makes more sense,” said Toms.

The Community Development Director spot is vacant after Sherri Windham retired at the end of April. Gary Lee is the Economic Development Director.

We've covered stories on Lee in the past -- he has pending charges of falsely reporting a crime and making a false statement. No trial date is set at this time.

We asked Toms if this had anything to do with the decision.

“Absolutely not,” said Toms.

Council will take an official vote at the next meeting on June 21.

Toms says if this plan passes, they will search for the best person to fill the new position.

It will not automatically go to Gary Lee.