“It’s gone well,” Draper said Friday.
He said his official start day was Tuesday, and with the Fourth of July holiday, he only worked three days “officially” this week as the first city manager.
“I’m trying to get my feet under me,” he said.
Draper said he worked closely with Mayor Bill Hereford last week and this week.
"This first week Patrick has been talking to a lot of people and, maybe more importantly, he is listening," Hereford said Friday. "He has already been here a couple years as our fire chief so he brings a lot of city and county institutional knowledge to his new job. I am seeing him as a quiet, confident leader who brings out the best in the people he works with. All in all, I could not be more pleased with the way the transition is going."
Draper served as the city’s fire chief until the mayor and council approved a resolution June 25 appointing the fire chief as city manager until the mayor and council leave office.
“That the initial term of office of the city manager appointed in accordance with this Resolution shall begin on Monday, July 2, 2012, and shall be coextensive with the term of office of the present City Council and shall expire on the first Monday in November 2012 …” the resolution states. “… provided, however, that the City Manager may be discharged upon sixty (60) days written notice following the vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the entire number of members of the governing body of the City.”
Draper did not begin work until Tuesday because he was required to have a $20,000 bond before actually starting work as city manager.
“It’s a transitional time,” he said. “It is a bigger job for me.”
According to the resolution, Draper is paid $80,000 annually, payable in 12 monthly installments.
He will also remain fire chief for the city.
“That the City Council expressly prescribes that D. Patrick Draper shall remain as fire chief of the City of Pell City and shall be responsible for the supervision, control and operation of the City’s Fire Department, in addition to his duties as City Manager, and in the event D. Patrick Draper is terminated as City Manager, either by operation of law or by action of the City Council, said termination shall not affect his position as Fire Chief, which shall continue and be subject to review and consideration pursuant to applicable Alabama law and applicable City policies, procedures, and ordinances,” states the resolution appointing Draper city manager.
Draper said his new job is much bigger than the previous department head job he held.
“There are a variety of issues to deal with,” he said.
Draper said he plans to meet with all department heads individually on Wednesday and as a group on Thursday.
“Of course, I am working on an agenda for that meeting,” he said. “I’m trying to run this like a business, and it’s a pretty big business.”
Draper has served as the city’s fire chief since Oct. 1, 2010. Before coming to Pell City, he worked as director of training for the Alabama Fire College in Tuscaloosa. From 2003-2007, he worked as deputy chief of Calera Fire & Rescue.
Draper has a master’s degree in public administration from Jacksonville State University. He earned his bachelor of social sciences degree from the University of Alabama.
Contact David Atchison at email@example.com.