“A season of new leadership:” Acworth appoints new city manager

James Albright in long-sleeved shirtAcworth City Manager James Albright (photo courtesy of the City of Acworth)

By Arielle Robinson

Acworth’s Board of Aldermen approved James Albright as new city manager at a packed meeting Thursday evening at City Hall.

Albright filled the former position of Brian Bulthuis, who retired after being city manager for 25 years.

Albright, 39, was previously Acworth’s Director of Parks, Recreation, and Community Resources, a role the board appointed him to at 23 years old.

Albright has lived in Acworth his entire life.

At the meeting, Albright thanked his family, who he said was his biggest supporter.

Albright also thanked his former colleagues who work in Parks, Recreation and Community Resources. He said he knows they will continue doing a great job running the department.

“You’re always told that it takes a village to raise a child,” Albright said. “I really believe that good leaders always see more in you than you see in yourself, and each one of you today … you believe more in me than I believe in myself and I’m really grateful for that. Ultimately, it took a village to get me where I’m at today.”

As city manager, Albright’s job is to work with the mayor and board to operate the city on a daily basis.

He said his goal is to bring continuity to the progress the mayor, board and former city manager have made.

He said his goal is also to “take this city on a trajectory of growth and prosperity and continue to provide quality services to our people.”

The board congratulated and praised Albright’s ambitions throughout the years, some reflecting on memories they have of the new city manager.

Alderman Tim Richardson said that he has known Albright since he was a child and described him as a product of the great parents and positive environment he grew up in.

Albright said his parents were volunteers in the Acworth community, serving as coaches, members of various boards and booster club presidents. He said that was what inspired his career choice.

Like his parents, Albright has also been on various boards around the city and still is.

“I just want to make clear that you gained our confidence the old-fashioned way — you earned it, fair and square,” Alderman Brett North said.

Mayor Tommy Allegood said that Albright’s appointment is indicative of a new era in Acworth leadership.

“As we travel through life we all pass through seasons,” Allegood said. “Sometimes it’s the season that is uncomfortable and maybe a season filled with things that don’t go right. Then we go through other seasons with a lot of joy and happiness. And so tonight, just thinking about the seasons in our life, we began a season in this city — a season of new leadership.”

The city has not named a new parks and recreation director yet.

Arielle Robinson is a student at Kennesaw State University. She also freelances for the Atlanta-Journal Constitution and is the former president of KSU’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists as well as a former CNN intern. She enjoys music, reading, and live shows.