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Concerns Arise Over City Manager Search

One Powder Springs council member called information another member had before her a “slap in the face.”

Powder Springs Councilwoman Nancy Hudson questioned Wednesday where Councilman Chris Wizner had received information about the search for a new city manager before her.

She said her concerns arose after reading Wizner’s comment on former Councilman Tom Bevirt’s .

During the council member comment portion near the end of Wednesday’s work session, Hudson said she felt like it’s a “slap in the face when he posts information on there that I haven’t been made aware of. … I was just wondering how he gets his information.”

Wizner said he had called Mayor Pat Vaughn and the two began discussing Bevirt’s column. The conversation was “nothing formal,” he said.

In his comment, Wizner wrote that the city is starting the search for a new city manager, that the job will be advertised soon, six weeks will be allotted for receiving applications and starting interviews, and that the hiring date is expected to be July 1, among other things.

Hudson asked how Wizner knew when the deadline was, with Wizner saying he came up with the date on his own because it coincided with the start of the new budget.

Councilman Al Thurman showed concerns about Wizner’s comments seeming like they came from the council as a whole.

“We read stuff that we had not heard before that he was stating in print—something that we were not even familiar with,” Thurman said. “If you’re generalizing what the council is saying, that’s not true.”

Wizner said he “didn’t intend it to sound that way.”

The former city manager, Rick Eckert, after nearly two years with the city and was allowed .

Former Mayor Brad Hulsey .

Vaughn said the job opening is “getting ready to be posted now.”

“We said we wanted to get a finance director first and get that part settled down, and that’s where we are,” she said, adding that it will take about six weeks from the time the job is posted to when someone is hired.

Amy Davis, who had 19 years of experience in government accounting, .

Talk of the city manager search again rose discussions of how the selection process will be carried out.

Bevirt had comprised of city managers from other cities to narrow the search down. Thurman said he supported this, noting the city did something similar in .

Vaughn said some applicants will still be eliminated by the city’s human resources department based on qualifications.

City Clerk Dawn Davis suggested mailing the information to other cities in case they had assistant city managers looking to move up.

The position will be posted on the city's website and through the Georgia Municipal Association.

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Chris Wizner May 03, 2012 at 01:04 PM
When I ran for office I told the Citizens, “you may not like what I say, but I will tell you the truth.” My goal is to keep vague or erroneous information and accusations posted on the Patch about myself or the City as accurate and transparent as I can. Furthermore, when I started my blog responses, months ago, I stated the opinions were mine and not those of the City or entire Council, maybe I should add this disclaimer to every statement I publish. As far as my information I occasionally talk to the Mayor, other Council Members, Citizens and others to try to get the most accurate information before responding or commenting. Unfortunately, I do not always talk to everyone. Which, if I did, could be construed as trying to bypass the open meeting laws. I work hard to stay informed for the Citizens of this City. Will I always be perfect? No, but then again I have never claimed to be.
Jim Arnold May 03, 2012 at 02:51 PM
More and more it appears that the only difference between the city administration and the Boy Scouts is that the Boy Scouts have adult leadership.
Chris Wizner May 03, 2012 at 03:22 PM
First, this is my opinion and not necessarily that of the City of Powder Springs or the Council as a whole. At the last Council Retreat, we as a City Council reaffirmed to work as a team and discuss issues as we need to do what is best for the City of Powder Springs. Sometimes these issues or discussions may be portrayed as negative by the Patch and other media, but it is all part of the process. We all have different opinions and views and we need to be able to discuss these opinions openly to come to the best answer for problems or issues we may face within the City. All do not always agree, but that is part of the process. We all use or own ethical or moral values to help us with our decisions. The Council Work Sessions are intended to flesh out and discuss the business of the City before the formal public meeting and sometimes these are not easy and sometimes the discussions are not pretty. This doesn’t mean we don’t like each other or can’t get along, but sometimes issues require a bit of passion and debate. I’ve always said it’s like sausage, the end product tastes good but you really don’t want to see it being made. However, in the end we all work together to do what is felt best for the Citizens and City of Powder Springs. I respect Nancy Hudson and Al Thurman for their comments at last night’s work session, we need open discussions.
Tea Man May 03, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Chris, In the interest of being open, honest and transparent during work sessions, I suggest the City Council utilize the sound and recording system installed a few years ago (at considerable expense, never used) and post this information on the City website. The public sessions should also be posted so citizens who can't make the meetings can see what happened and why. This is basic basic open meetings stuff. Right now we have to read the Patch or go to the "Powder Springs City Council Watch" in order to see and hear the discussions. Let's have real transparency!
susan jameson May 05, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Why is the city paying for TWO city managers. It seems odd that we would pay a manager who resigned, what's that about? Do we have a surplus of money so that we can pay two people for the same job?

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