SUGAR HILL - The City of Sugar Hill Thursday announced that City Manager Robert M. (Bob) Hail has decided to retire from his position at the end of June 2014, starting an orderly leadership transition over the next eight months.
Hail's decision to retire will bring to a close a remarkable career of nearly 45 years of continuous public service both to the United States Air Force and to cities in Georgia, including 13 years in Sugar Hill.
Among his responsibilities as City Manager was the purchase of natural gas futures which kept rates low for residents, overseeing the construction of the new City Hall complex, and surrounding downtown area; development of Gary Pirkle Park and renovations to our existing parks, being the financial steward of the City and keeping it debt-free.
"Bob Hail has been a very strong leader, only the 6th City Manager in the City's great 75-year history, and one who has managed the City through both challenging times and periods of growth," said Gary Pirkle, Mayor of Sugar Hill.
"I've been privileged to lead one of the world's greatest cities in Gwinnett County and in Georgia," Hail said. "After almost 13 years with the City it's time to move on and transfer Sugar Hill's helm to a new generation of leadership."
City officials said during Hail's tenure as City Manager 2001 - the City of Sugar Hill has:
*Held taxes in check, maintaining a millage rate of 3.8, while remaining debt-free with a $3 million surplus in reserve
*Purchased and developed an additional 90 acres of parkland - creating Gary Pirkle Park - a 70 acre soccer/football/lacrosse complex featuring a playground, walking trails, a Community Garden, parking, and the largest artificial turf field in the Southeast; and making vast improvements to E.E. Robinson Park, home of seven state-of-the-art softball and baseball fields, parking, concession stands, and playgrounds.
*Built a new 33,000 square foot City Hall, a Town Lawn, Amphitheater, and a Community Center in the downtown area - complete with streetscapes.- creating a nucleus for a downtown Sugar Hill.
*Managed a natural gas facility that provides service to over 10,000 homes and businesses - maintaining one of the lowest total gas bill rates in the State for over 150 months running.
*Added 7 miles of new sidewalks and over $4.5 million in roadway improvements and beautification
*Increased size of City staff from 30 to 60 employees, including creating a Stormwater Utility and a Recreation Department which produces classes, and events such as the Easter Egg Hunt, the 3rd of July Fireworks, and a Fall Festival.
Hail, 66, joined The City of Sugar Hill after 4 years as City Manager of Kennesaw, GA, and a distinguished 25+ year career with the United States Air Force.