Eric Linton
Eric Linton

Eric Linton has been planning for the job of city manager his whole career.

“It’s been a goal of mine since I first entered government service in a planning and director role,” he said. “My goal was always to get into admin. I spent 14 years with Douglas County and now I’m continuing my career path into a city manager position.”

Dunwoody City Council on Dec. 8 voted unanimously to hire Linton as the 6-year-old city’s second city manager.

City Councilman Denny Shortal, a member of the committee appointed to find a new city manager, said Linton stood out to all the committee members.

“I think the citizens are going to embrace him,” Shortal said

Linton said he learned of the job during the summer and saw a “great opportunity” to serve one of metro Atlanta’s “premier cities.”

The area provides both high-end office developments and an ability to attract Fortune 500 companies, Linton said, as well as offering a solid residential community. “The two provide a good balance, with office, commercial and residential,” he said.

Linton said his passion for planning and zoning goes back to watching the area where he grew up (he graduated from Chamblee High School) go from rural to suburban, and now is at the center of the growth cycle.

“Watching the area grow and wanting to be part of that cycle has always inspired me, and I’ve wanted to help shape it into the future,” Linton said. “I’m going to work with City Council and where they see the city going over the next five to 10 years, and work with them to achieve those goals.”

After earning a Bachelor of Science in Operations Management, with a minor in land development and economics, Linton continued his education at Georgia Institute of Technology and earned a Master of City and Regional Planning in 1995.

Starting in 2000, Linton worked in various positions with Douglas County, becoming Douglas County Administrator in 2006. He said he is excited to return home, as he and his wife live just six miles outside the Dunwoody City limit.

Mayor Mike Davis called the city’s first city manager, Warren Hutmacher, “amazingly dogged” and credited him as having “basically started this city.”

“The task of replacing him was certainly difficult,” Davis said.

It took nearly eight months for a committee comprised of the mayor, three council members and two residents to choose Linton. The committee unanimously voted for Linton from the top five finalists, selected from 83 total candidates.

Since April 26, Police Chief Billy Grogan stepped up to the role of acting city manager for the remainder of the year. He said he is happy that Jan. 5 will be his last day as acting city manager, but he has learned a lot while balancing two full-time jobs.

He credits his success to the city’s staff members who guided him and the police officers who filled in while he was absent.

Grogan said he was asked to step up in part because he was not interested in applying for the city manager job full-time. He has been with the city since the beginning and had established good relationships with the community, city department heads, mayor and city council, he said.

“I think it really helped me see how the police department fits in with the whole city and what we’re trying to accomplish as a city,” Grogan said. “I already knew that from the perspective of the police department, but seeing the perspective from the other departments and being involved on that end of things…I think is going to help a lot [as chief of police].”

Grogan said he looks forward to joining his police department staff, after helping Linton settle into his new job.