Athens-Clarke County Manager Blaine Williams on Friday named Andrew Saunders as the new director of the Central Services Department, effective immediately.
Saunders has served as the interim director since September 2019 after the resignation of former director David Fluck.
Saunders had previously served as the Sustainability Officer since July 2017 when that office launched as a division of the county manager’s Oofice. When created, it was only the fourth such program within a local government in Georgia.
In this position, Saunders coordinated the development of a sustainability plan, reduced the county's internal energy expenses by $450,000 in less than 18 months, coordinated a community commitment to 100% renewable energy while dramatically increasing rhe county's use of renewable energy, secured $1.9 million in outside funding from grants and donations, and oversaw land acquisition projects to support community greenspace protection goals.
"Andrew has a great deal of experience in closely coordinating with all of ACCGov’s departments to improve efficiency and operations," Williams said. "He excelled while in the interim Central Services Director role in continuing these efforts on a larger scale, in a position in which relationships across departments are key. We were fortunate to have competitive candidates for the position, and Andrew is my top choice."
Prior to heading up the Sustainability Office, Saunders worked for 10 years in the Central Services Department. From 2007-2013, Saunders worked in the department as the Community Forestry Coordinator in the Landscape Management Division. He also later served as the Environmental Coordinator from 2013-2017.
"Over the past 13 years of working with the Central Services Department, I’ve discovered an incredible collection of service-minded individuals who provide innovative and reliable services to empower other ACCGov departments to meet the needs of the community,” says Saunders. “I am grateful to be entrusted to lead this department in providing high-quality facilities, reliable public safety communication systems, safe and aesthetically pleasing landscapes, and a diverse fleet."
Saunders has both a Bachelor of Science in Forest Resources in Wildlife Ecology and Management and a Master of Forest Resources from the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. He is a Georgia Registered Forester, a Certified Arborist, a Task Specialist with an Urban Forestry Strike Team for the United States Forest Service, and a member of the LEAD Athens 2019-2020 cohort.
The Athens-Clarke County Central Services Department consists of the Facilities Management Division, which maintains ACCGov-owned property; the Fleet Management Division, which manages most ACCGov vehicles; the Landscape Management Division, which maintains grounds and landscapes at ACCGov facilities and roadways; and Internal Support, which provides services for departments such as mailing, printing, parking, 800 MHz public safety communications, and telecommunications. The department also handles special event permitting, publication rack permitting, and downtown vending permits.
For more information about the Athens-Clarke County Central Services Department, visit www.accgov.com/centralservices.