WTOC Exclusive: One-on-one with new Chatham County manager Michael Kaigler

Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 4:02 PM EST
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CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Michael Kaigler is the new county manager appointed by the county commission last month but he’s served in the role since the summer.

Chatham County Manager Michael Kaigler spoke about several things he’s working on to make Chatham County a better place for employees and people living here.

“We’re going to be steady,” Kaigler said. “We’re going to get it done.”

Kaigler has been working for the county for over 30 years. He says now that he’s in one of the county’s highest roles, he wants to get major projects finished like the new courthouse.

He is also tasked with overseeing their next budget process after the county received less than expected in Local Option Sales Tax negotiations.

“We don’t know what the future is going to bring but right now we’re in good financial shape,” Kaigler said.

Another of his main priorities is getting more staff in important places like the county’s police department.

“We are meeting the needs but it’s been very difficult, particularly in law enforcement, 911, our public works department,” Kaigler said.

As there have been several complaints of people not being able to reach 911, he says a new 911 center that will take two or more years to complete is on the way.

“We’re trying to make improvements to our 911 center to better serve the citizens,” Kaigler said.

He also mentioned staffing is an issue at the District Attorney Office.

“We’re worried about that but we’ve been working with the DA to get her what she needs and then all of the judges in various courts, we’ve been working with them to get them what they need,” Kaigler said. “We put extra resources and extra people in the districts attorney’s office and the courts in order to address the backlogs.

As he takes on the role, he says he knows how important a good relationship is with the cities inside the county.

While he says he can’t speak for elected officials, Kaigler says he and his staff work well with city staffers in Chatham.

“We all have a common goal. We all want to work to make things better for the citizens in the community.”

A community he’s happy to serve.