Toccoa City Manager Billy Morse is settling in after his first week back on the job.
Morse started work last Tuesday, returning to the position he held from 2002 to 2009.
He said he is glad to be back with the city of Toccoa.
“I am excited to be here,” said Morse. “It is kind of funny. Some things have just come back like I never stopped doing them. Some things are different, some learning new folks and some new projects we are working on. It has been really good (for) my first week and I am just really glad to be here.”
Morse said he also appreciates the community welcoming him back to the city manager’s post.
“I appreciate the warm reception that I have been given by a lot of our citizens,” said Morse. “I really do appreciate that. The employees, I think, have been doing a good job and I am so glad that they are going to be here to continue.”
Over his first few days on the job, Morse said he has worked to reacquaint himself with the operations at City Hall and the initiatives the city is undertaking.
“Basically, I have just been trying to make the rounds and see all of the employees and see all of our facilities,” said Morse. “I sort of feel like I need to lay eyes on everything that we have and everything that we are doing. So that has been the first priority for the first week. Obviously, I have been working with the folks in the Finance Department to see how we are financially.”
Regarding the finances, Morse said it is tight now, but adds he feels good about the future.
“Unfortunately, we are still a little ‘hand to mouth’ in our finances because of some of the debt that we have, but I think the folks have done an outstanding job over the last four years in making sure that we maximize the dollars that we have and that we are good stewards of those monies and I think we have been,” said Morse. “So, yeah, it is still a tight financial environment that we are in, but I think the future is bright and looks bright and I think we are going to be fine.”
Morse said the city also benefits financially from its Commission Reserve Account, or CRA.
City commissioners started the CRA back in 2008, during Morse’s previous tenure, with a goal of putting $2 million in the account.
The CRA has since reached that $2 million figure and as of August 31, contained over $2.16 million in it.
Morse said the CRA is very helpful to the city and he adds the commission should be commended for establishing it and funding it.
Regarding other short-term goals, Morse said he is looking to the commission and the departments to set those.
“I think my biggest role is to continue to make sure that we stay financially healthy and the department heads and the employees are given the resources they need to get their job done and just to make sure that we stay a stable organization, one that is functioning properly and can look long-term,” said Morse.
Morse also said he is looking to commissioners regarding the establishment of some longer-term goals as well.