FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Clarkston’s City Manager to Retire
(Clarkston, GA)—Keith Barker, who has served as Clarkston’s City Manager for the past 7 years, plans to retire in December 2018. The City made this announcement during the Tuesday, July 31, 2018 City Council Work Session. Barker was hired, as Clarkston’s first City Manager, in 2011 and has served as an effective and productive public servant for 38 years.
“I have been very fortunate to have worked with a long list of dedicated elected officials throughout my career, all of which have given their time to make their communities better and to serve their constituents,” Barker said during the announcement. “I would especially like to thank the many hard working and capable public employees that I have had the pleasure to work alongside throughout my career in public service.”
During Barker’s tenure and leadership, the City has completed and initiated several major construction and infrastructure improvement projects that include, renovating Milam Park, Milam Pool construction, redevelopment of Friendship Forest Wildlife Sanctuary, City Hall Annex Historic Restoration and most recently the City has started construction on a $6.5 million-dollar City Center Streetscape Project. Barker also successfully led annexations that increased Clarkston’s land mass and population by 66%.
“Keith came to Clarkston and helped turn this city around,” said Mayor Ted Terry. “He has brought vigorous professionalism to our operations, fiscal sustainability to the budget, and deployed innovative strategies that have elevated our communities to new heights. He will be sorely missed, but greatly appreciated for leaving Clarkston better off than he found it.”
Barker was appointed to serve as the City’s first City Manager after Clarkston converted to the present council-manager form of government in 2010. Barker has an extensive public service background having held various administrative and executive management positions in city, county and state government agencies throughout his 38-year career.
Prior to joining the City of Clarkston, Barker served as Chief Operating Officer for DeKalb County, Assistant County Manager for Dougherty County, Assistant City Manager for Decatur and as a Public Service Faculty Member with the University of Georgia Carl Vinson Institute of Government.
“Although I would have loved to see him wait for just a bit longer, I wish him a happy retirement,” said Councilman Awet Eyasu. “I am happy to have worked with him closely over the last three years. Keith has always successfully balanced the budget and has played a key role in the inception and planning of our major capital projects, especially the Streetscape project and the Friendship Forest project. I strongly feel that the foundations laid out with his advice and leadership will remain as cornerstones of our city’s future development.”
Clarkston operates under a council-manager form of government, which means the City Council hires a professional City Manager to run day-to-day operations while City Council members formulate policy. Clarkston switched to a council-manager form of government in 2010 and hired Barker after conducting a national search.
“The City Council will hire an executive search firm to recruit applicants for the City Manager position. The process will include an opportunity for elected officials, City staff and the community to provide input on the characteristics, skills, knowledge and experience everyone wants to see in a City Manager,” states Mayor Terry. “The City Council will make the final decision and we are on schedule to appoint a new City Manager by December of this year.
Keith Barker, City Manager
City of Clarkston