Rockdale Chairman Richard Oden’s Chief of Staff, Gregory Pridgeon, has resigned. Pridgeon submitted his resignation last Friday, Jan. 4, stating that he was pursuing other career opportunities. His resignation is effective Feb. 1, county officials said.
Before he was hired to work for Rockdale three years ago, Pridgeon worked as a regional land use planner in Prince Edward County, Virginia. Prior to his work in Virginia, Pridgeon spent nearly 30 years working with the city of Atlanta, where he served as manager of legislative affairs for Mayor Maynard Jackson, and as chief of staff for mayors Bill Campbell and Shirley Franklin.
Rockdale Commissioners discussed the position Pridgeon is leaving during a planning retreat it held today to set goals for 2013. The Board of Commissioners said it plans to look at whether to create a position that would serve the three-member board or one that would continue to serve the Chairman, or even to perhaps create two positions with the $90,000-a-year salary earned by Pridgeon.
Commissioner Oz Nesbitt said he believes a plus for Rockdale would be to have a “legislative liaison” or “constituent services representative” who would assist Commissioners in the Post 1 and Post 2 seats, now held respectively by himself and Janice Van Ness. The new liaison or constituent representatives would handle constituents’ calls and concerns on behalf of the two commissioners, Nesbitt said.
“As part-time commissioners, we are not in the office every day. We need the ability to address our constituents’ concerns and issues when they call. A position like that would enable us to respond more quickly,” Nesbitt said. “And as we continue to grow, we’re going to have to make some decision about which direction we want to go in.”
The board plans to have a follow-up retreat before Jan. 31, when the State of the County Address will be delivered.