Members of the Dalton City Council praised Andrew Parker's skills as a manager and an engineer on Monday after naming him the city's new director of the Public Works Department.
"He has shown a tremendous work ethic and leadership and a commitment to continuing to improve himself through further education and training," said City Council member Gary Crews.
Council members voted 4-0 to name Parker, who had been assistant director of the department for the past five years, the new Public Works Department director.
"We've got a great group of people who work hard every day to provide our citizens with high-quality services," Parker said. "I feel really comfortable moving into this position and look forward to carrying on the legacy of leadership provided by Benny Dunn."
Dunn retired on Friday after 23 years with the Public Works Department, including 14 years as director.
"We feel confident that Andrew will be able to move right into that position and the department won't lose a step," said City Council member Denise Wood.
Parker was named as the finalist for the position last month from a field of four applicants, including three from outside the department.
Parker joined the Public Works Department in 2010 as a project manager and was promoted to assistant director in 2014. He is a graduate of Southern Polytechnic University with a degree in civil engineering. Parker is a 2006 graduate of Murray County High School.
The department has 75 employees and a budget of $7.9 million. It provides curbside garbage and recycling pickup, maintains 180 miles of city streets, provides stormwater control and maintains all city vehicles except those of the Fire Department.
Parker's salary was $90,850. His salary at the new position has not yet been determined.
Council members also voted 4-0 to approve a resolution opposing any state efforts to curb the ability of local governments to enact their own building codes for single- and double-family residences. A bill that would have limited local governments from setting some design standards died in committee in the legislature earlier this year. It could be brought back next year. Mayor Dennis Mock typically votes only in the event of a tie.
In their work session, council members heard a presentation from officials with the Housing Authority of the City of Dalton, an independent agency that provides housing to low-income working people, the elderly and the disabled. The agency maintains 615 units that house some 1,200 residents.