The Aberdeen City Council has hired a retired U.S. Army officer from Cordova, Alaska, to serve as the new city manager.

The hiring of Randy Robertson, who would earn about $10,000 more annually than previous city manager Doug Miller, was unanimously approved by the City Council Monday night after being recommended by the selection committee Mayor Patrick McGrady had created.

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Robertson has a "remarkable Army career" of 30 years, which the committee felt would be useful in working with Aberdeen Proving Ground, and nine years of direct city manager experience, McGrady said.

Robertson has worked as city manager in Cordova since 2013, according to a resume provided by McGrady. Before that, he was city manager of Vestavia Hills, Ala., from 2012 to 2013, Mt. Juliet, Tenn., from 2007 to 2011 and Ashland, Ky., from 2006 to 2007.

Cordova, Alaska "is a little bit different than here but we think he will fit right in," McGrady said.

Robertson is expected to start working in about a month after driving with his family from Alaska.

Miller was earning $125,960 in Aberdeen before he left to become manager for the Town of Ocean City earlier this year.

Spotlight on the stadium

The city has begun to study the condition Ripken Stadium, which continues to lose money for the city, McGrady said.

He said a contractor was obtained administratively to look into the stadium's structural integrity. The city was also given a price tag of $1 million to replace railings at the stadium through a bond bill, but McGrady said he hopes the city will only need to put forward $500,000 and, "if we break this up into the [work on] concrete bid and railing bid, we could save $200,000."

The concrete at the bottom of the stadium's railings has been cracked for a while, he said.

He said he expects the results of the stadium study to be brought before him soon.

"By the next couple of months, we will have a really good picture of what the stadium's worth is to the city," he told the city council.

After the meeting, McGrady did not immediately have details on the hiring of the contractor, but said he would get them.

Trash stickers

The council also voted Monday to charge $1 for all trash bags as part of the city's trash sticker program, instead of allowing 50 cents for bags smaller than 20 gallons.

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Several residents had protested the fee increase and McGrady promised to look into the need for the sticker system altogether.

Councilwoman Sandra Landbeck, however, said a proposal made by some people that the city collect the fee in some other way, such as raising water bills, did not make sense because everyone pays differently for water.

The sticker program overall "is an initiative to get you to recycle, because the more you recycle, the less you pay," she noted.

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