Interview with Emma Darnell

OK, Ms. Darnell, in March, 1974, Maynard Jackson named you commissioner of administrative services. What was your area of responsibility and how did you feel about being named to your new post?


My area of responsibility included the city's entire support operation in 1974 when Maynard Jackson appointed me to serve as commissioner of the department of administrative services. And when I say the support operation I'm talking about a purchasing operation of a hundred million dollars, ah, a personnel operation involving 8000 employees, general services, records management and all of the traditional functions and components of a business organization that have to do with supporting the service departments. I felt um, extremely excited but as I look back I, I think that the emotion that I felt more than any other was, ah, some feeling of duty and responsibility. Frankly it was really just another assignment because in those days, ah, in the administration of the first Black mayor of the city of Atlanta I think all of us were just caught up with the overall purpose and mission which was to do a good job and for the first time, ah, change the government, ah, in a way that would be a benefit to those who had been excluded up until that time.