After a nationwide search in 2018, the Decatur City Commission has selected Assistant City Manager Andrea Arnold as the new city manager for Decatur. Arnold is a resident of the city of Decatur and has served as an assistant city manager since 2004. Following a search and interviews facilitated by an executive search firm, Arnold was the unanimous selection.
“We believe Andrea has the leadership skills, wealth of experience and professional demeanor we are seeking to lead our municipal organization into the future and to work effectively with our elected body. Andrea has a deep knowledge of Decatur and can hit the ground running as we move forward with our 2020 Strategic Planning process, economic development projects and goals and as we work with our key local partners and County and State representatives. We were impressed with her strong desire to really listen to our residents and work with us as we chart our future,” said Mayor Patti Garrett.
Arnold began working with the city in November 1997 after she came to Decatur from the Atlanta Regional Commission. Arnold is a key member of the management team with responsibilities for leading the city’s internal operations, including the budget process and has oversight responsibilities for Municipal Court and the Fire Department. She is a critical leader in technology, innovation and in ensuring the city of Decatur residents and businesses receive excellent customer service, stated officials.
“I am very proud and excited that Andrea will have the opportunity to be the next City Manager. She has strong organizational and community ties as well as connections on a statewide and national level,” said current City Manager Peggy Merriss. “She is the type of leader whose integrity and ethics are unquestionable and she has both the ability to pay attention to details while seeing the big picture.”
Merriss, the city’s current manager, will retire soon after working with the city since 1983.
“I am thrilled for the opportunity to continue to serve our community and I am humbled by the City Commission’s trust in my ability to lead our organization. I am also looking forward to strengthening existing community relationships and building new ones in my role as City Manager. Most importantly, Peggy Merriss leaves behind a legacy rooted in democracy, integrity and ethics that I intend to build upon,” said Andrea Arnold.
Arnold has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science/Urban Studies from Furman University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. She is a Credentialed Manager with the Inter-national City and County Management Association and is active in numerous professional associations. She also served on the Decatur Education Foundation Board, is a graduate of Leadership DeKalb and a 2018 graduate of the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Regional Leadership Institute.
City of Decatur officials contributed to this article.