COVINGTON — After spending two and a half years as the city manager of Covington, Scott Andrews is leaving to become the assistant city manager of Bakersfield, Calif. With nearly 500,000 residents, Bakersfield is the ninth largest and fastest growing city in California.
Andrews was named Covington city manager in November 2019 following the retirement of city manager Leigh Anne Knight in May and a five-month search. The search was narrowed down to two candidates — Andrews, who was the assistant city manager in Smyrna, and Freddie Morgan, who was the electric director for the Covington. The City Council unanimously approved Andrews.
Morgan was later named assistant city manager in 2020, but resigned in 2021 to accept the same position in his hometown of Cartersville. John King, who served as airport manager and transportation manager, is now assistant city manager.
Andrews’ last day on the job was Friday, May 6. Planning and Development Director Tres Thomas has been named interim city manager.
Andrews was hired during the term of mayor Ronnie Johnson. Steve Horton was elected mayor in 2020 and praised Andrews for the work he has done in the last two years.
“Scott has done an excellent job as city manager,” Horton said. “I have enjoyed getting to know him and working with him. I will certainly miss him, and I know others will too. We wish him and Danielle all the best in their future move to California.”
Andrews steered Covington through two tough years of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and all of its restrictions, but kept the city up and running and serving residents. For his efforts, Andrews and Covington recently received the Georgia Municipal Association’s 2022 Visionary Award. The award nomination reads:
“Covington is rapidly transforming from a small rural town into a booming metropolitan area. Recognizing the immense growth, City Manager Scott Andrews prioritized creating a Community Engagement Initiative to help bring residents together, increase participation in local government and enhance the community. The initiative has resulted in programs including police review boards, a sustainability task force, a public art initiative (PAINT) and a diversity task force. Measurable achievements from this initiative can already be seen through efforts like those in the PAINT program, where residents added to the aesthetic vibrancy of the community by painting fire hydrants and electrical boxes.”
Andrews responded to several questions from the Citizen about his time in Covington:
Q. How do you feel Covington has progressed or moved forward during your time as city manager?
Andrews: “TeamCOV is outstanding from our dedicated front line staff, to our council that is passionate about representing our engaged community. As an organization, we have progressed in the modernization of our processes and also leaned on technology to better engage our residents. We have also taken steps to become more collaborative in our team first culture internally, and become more vibrant with our quality of life initiatives in the community.”
Q. What do you feel are your greatest accomplishments as Covington’s city manager?
Andrews: “I’m so proud to see the Cricket Frog trail unfold, it has been transformative for Covington. We have seen great success as well with our community engagement, public art initiatives, the welcome center expansion, and the success of our warming shelter. Our team also navigated a global pandemic with ease, ensuring residents received the service they deserve. Above all though, I’m most proud of our talented team of 320. I love our staff! The professional development and growth of our team has been amazing. In my 2 1/2 years in Covington, we have seen seven managers rise to the rank of department head, or higher. The future is bright for #TeamCOV.”
Q. What will you miss about Covington?
Andrews: “It was a hard decision to tender my resignation as city manager. I have been very nostalgic the last week. I am going to really miss the team more than anything. My wife and I will also miss the sense of community in COV. Covington is a special place where people wave to you, check on you and bring baked goods when you are struggling. It’s a place where you can leave your door unlocked at night and not worry at all.”
Q: What are your plans going forward?
Andrews: “I have accepted an offer and will be joining the city of Bakersfield, Calif., as the assistant city manager. Bakersfield is the ninth largest (nearly 1/2 million residents) and fastest growing city in California. It is a tremendous opportunity for my family and I. I am sad to leave Covington, where I have so many warm memories. However, the prospect of helping to lead one of America’s 50 largest cities is career altering and too good to pass up. My family will start our transition to Bakersfield in early June.”