AUGUSTA — Earl Kingsbury, former assistant and current interim director of the Augusta Civic Center, is the city manager’s choice to take over as director at the city-owned facility.

If Kingsbury is confirmed next week, he will succeed Dana Colwill, who stepped down July 16 after 19 years at the entertainment, sports, convention and meeting center.

“I think he is eminently well-qualified for the job and has demonstrated that as assistant director there,” said City Manager William Bridgeo, who nominated Kingsbury for the post. “I think we’re fortunate as a city that he’s available for the position and eager to accept it. I also think it is terrific when we can have leadership continuity like that.”

Kingsbury, while hesitant to talk at length about his likely new job until councilors vote on his confirmation Aug. 6, said if confirmed he doesn’t plan immediate changes.

“I’m excited about the opportunity in front of me and look forward to working with the manager’s office and council,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity that came up, and Dana taught me well. He was a very good mentor.”

Under the Augusta City Charter, the manager appoints department heads, such as the civic center director, with those appointments subject to a confirmation vote by city councilors.

Bridgeo said in his 17 years as manager, the council has approved all of his department head nominations unanimously. He said he has discussed the appointment with councilors in executive session, where he said the nomination got a warm reception.

Kingsbury, 52, has lived in Augusta for 27 years. His wife, Lorraine, is a teacher in Vassalboro. His son, Kevin, 19, is a student at Virginia Tech.

Bridgeo said Colwill endorsed Kingsbury strongly. Bridgeo said he also received unsolicited expressions of support from retired civic center employees and people in the business community who are Augusta Civic Center clients.

If confirmed by councilors, he would be paid an annual salary of about $74,000, according to Bridgeo.

Kingsbury was hired as major events coordinator in 2008 and promoted to assistant director in 2013.

“He was in charge of all the food and beverage, which is one of the bigger parts of the Augusta Civic Center,” Bridgeo said of Kingsbury’s job before he was appointed assistant director. “He’s been with us in a position of responsibility for almost a decade.”

Kingsbury said he plans to maintain what Colwill built up at the civic center and, in turn, build on that.

Bridgeo said the city conducted a nationwide search for a new director, drawing about 30 resumes.

“There were probably several with comparable qualifications to Earl’s,” Bridgeo said of the pool of candidates. “But why would you swap out somebody that you know well over a period of years and watched do a good job there for an unknown commodity?”

Bridgeo said Kingsbury has been involved in community activities as a volunteer, is a well-respected member of the community and highly regarded in his profession.

Colwill, director of the facility the last 11 years and a 19-year administrator there, stepped down from the job July 16. Colwill said it was time for someone else to take over. City councilors proclaimed July 17 as Dana Colwill Day in Augusta.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.