Russell County engineer Gohde resigns

Richard Gohde's turbulent two-year tenure as the Russell County engineer ended with his resignation Friday. Gohde, 56, replaced former County Engineer Cal Markert in August 2005 after Markert left to become the engineer for Baldwin County, Ala.

The commission asked Gohde for his resignation after having issues with his running of the department in recent months, said County Commission Chairman J.D. Upshaw. "It was basically about performance among other things," he said. "We allowed him to resign."

Earlier this summer, the commission voted unanimously to inform Gohde that his contract would not be renewed when it expired later this year. The engineer's contract with the commission included an initial salary of $85,000 a year with a 3 percent increase in October 2006 making his current salary $87,550.

The contract would have been automatically renewed at the end of its term had the county not given Gohde notice 60 days prior to its end.

The commission held a closed hearing for job performance near the end of Monday's regular meeting, with Gohde joining the proceedings about 45 minutes after it was closed.

After the regular meeting reconvened, County Attorney Kenneth Funderburk recommended that no immediate action be taken.