Jackson County

Gautier city manager Samantha Abell reveals plan to resign

Samantha Abell, Gautier City Manager
Samantha Abell, Gautier City Manager

GAUTIER -- Samantha Abell plans to resign from her post after six years as city manager.

Rumors of her planned resignation surfaced Thursday afternoon after a line item appeared on the agenda for Tuesday's City Council meeting requesting approval of a succession plan to train a new city manager.

Abell later confirmed the news, telling the Sun Herald she'll be recommending Gautier Fire Chief Robert Jones be named her successor.

She has not yet set a date for her resignation as she wants to first focus on making a "smooth transition" with her successor, she said.

"I expect to resign sometime early summer, and am considering career opportunities," she said. "My focus is on a professional and positive succession plan, to continue the city's forward progress."

She said she should be able to provide the council with a departure date in about six weeks and wouldn't elaborate on what career opportunities she is considering.

Abell began working as the city's planning and economic development director in 2010. She was appointed city manager in 2012.

During her time with Gautier, she managed initiatives such as an aggressive approach to economic development, focusing on building a downtown commercial district. She also managed the city's first five-year strategic plan, a 15-year capital-improvement plan, the privatization of public works and the renegotiation of city contracts and franchise agreements at taxpayer savings.