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Why the Delay in City Manager Search?

The mayor claims they are reviewing the qualifications so they can put together a job description. Why so? They already have them ready and left over from before.

Readers know that our previous City Manager but is . More about that part later. In the meantime, our former mayor, Brad Hulsey, has been .

Background:
The City Manager position is very important in our form of Manager-Mayor-Council form of Government. He/she is responsible for the everyday running of the City (). This form of operating is the most popular in ours and many other states.

For it to work the elected officials are the policy makers, just like the Board of Directors for a company except that the City can make law and charge taxes. They must let the Manager do their jobs with the least amount of interference.

That does not mean that he/she does not report to them. Ideally they should report at least once per month and certainly keep them abreast of anything pertaining to the well being of the City.

It is no secret that our town has not dealt well with this issue. During the past 10 years we have had four different managers. Then we had long periods (eighteen months) where the Mayor served a dual role of mayor and manager.

This will not go down well when finding a new City Manager of quality. Prospective candidates will pass on us just on that issue by itself. This is one reason that I have long proposed that we have a search committee made up of professional managers to suggest three candidates to the Mayor/Council.

You can find that in my previous columns and I told the Mayor/Council about my idea long before I left. So far, it does not seem that the powers that be are taking me up on this. In fact they have not even posted the position on the bulletin board! So I guess they have not advertised the job in the many magazines and websites available to folks looking for City Managers jobs.

Now, it is reported elsewhere, that the mayor claims they are reviewing the qualifications so they can put together a job description. Why so? They already have them ready and left over from before.

They might need a small amount of "tweaking" but this should not take five weeks, which is the time Rick Eckert resigned until now. Why the delay? This needs to be answered. As the bankers always say "time is of the essence".

Regarding the over $9,000 per month paid to Eckert. He said that he would be available as a "consultant". Fine. Let him work his next six weeks getting out of the clutches of a non-existent committee, DAPS (Development Authority of Powder Springs) and into a line item in the budget for an Economic Developer as suggested in the Georgia Power paid for just announced at the City Wide meeting.

Where there is a will there is a way...

I plan to follow this issue carefully and fully until we have a competent new Manager especially one who has no current ties to the city or especially to any City Official.

Correction:
I suggested that sources in City Hall said that the Mayor has somehow told City Attorney Richard Calhoun to one of my columns. I also wondered if he had charged the City for his time.

Not so says another reliable source. It appears that he was answering the column because it cast some doubt on his law firm of which he is a partner. The City did not pay him.

I have stated from day one that I wanted to make sure that what I write about is accurate and anyone who thinks, with good reason, that there needs to be a correction shall have it.

It would be helpful if the City would try to make sure that reports are made public without citizens having to go through the process of filing open records requests.

Certainly if you are simply asking for some flyer that was handed out at a meeting should be available at no or very minimal cost to the citizens. For records that go back some time the Open Records Act gives Cities the ability to charge what are supposed to be reasonable charges. I will be writing about this at some later date.

Thanks for reading,

Tom Bevirt

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Chris Wizner March 29, 2012 at 11:20 AM
I guess I hit a nerve. Yes, I concede many people in history have used pen names as authors for some past great literary works or to avoid persecution from religion and government. I researched your pen name- Vorant: In heraldry, devouring or swallowing: noting a serpent or other creature of prey. The epithet is followed by the name of the object which is being swallowed: as, the arms of Visconti of Milan were a serpent vorant a child. (Source: wordnik.com) Interesting connotation, but not the pseudonym I would have chosen for myself. I find it rather sad that it’s necessary to write this reply. You seem to be fairly well educated, yet you so quickly resort to name calling and personal character attacks rather than intelligently discussing the topics at hand. Again, I encourage you to get more involved in the City- volunteer on a committee or board, attend Council meetings and publically express your opinions, be an involved citizen rather than an anonymous pen name on a social website.
Vorant1 March 30, 2012 at 07:12 PM
I find it interesting you should choose to use that particular depiction / example and believe it or not there are others not so inflammatory but then again maybe that's your idea. Yes, I'm not using my real name so as to to prevent retaliation by the powers that be, since our family owns properties inside the city limits. I don't need jackboot code enforcement citing me for a blade of grass one inch too high, believe me I'm not alone in that concern. My main gripe is the squandering of tax dollars regardless of its origin, on projects that haven't given a REAL return to the citizenry e.g., City hall purchase / renovations, new police station or streetscape projects. I realize every administration wants to leave a "visible" mark on the city, because who wants to be known as the mayor who fixed the infrastructure problem (sarcasm). This city has very real issues and all these "superficial" projects are nothing more than a "new" bandage on a festering sore. The only good project that has had a REAL impact on this city has been Sailors Parkway( the jury is still out on the Lewis road project) But I digress, the new city manager needs to be given marching orders to layout a plan to address these issues without interference or micromanagement by the mayor. As I posted before, the new city manager doesn't need to be hired based on who he knows (cronyism) but on accepted professional standards for city managers. Dumbing down the position just makes the city look foolish...
Brad Hulsey March 30, 2012 at 09:19 PM
It is my pleasure and a humbling experience to have the opportunity to serve the Mayor and City Council, as well as the fine citizens of Powder Springs. I take the duties and responsiblities of Interim City Manager very seriously, and I will continue to do my utmost best to perform in a responsible, professional and ethical manner. Under my direction, our former City Manager and now Consultant to the City, Rick Eckert, is currently working on two projects that will serve the City well. The first is the creation of an Emergency Management Plan for City staff, as well as the Mayor and Council. This plan will prepare the City for our reaction to keeping the City operational and functional in the event of a natural disaster or some other devastating occurrence. Mr. Eckert has begun compiling information for this plan, and he and I have had meetings regarding the plan. I expect this to be completed by May 2012. The second project Mr. Eckert is involved with is identifying funding resources beyond the norm (property taxes, fines and forfeitures, etc.) for the City's General Fund. Mr. Eckert will begin the discovery phase of this project in the near future, also with a due date of May 2012. It is my desire to have Mr. Eckert assist me with an Economic Development Strategy for the City during his tenure as Consultant. I am currently devising a plan for his consideration to help accomplish this task in a timely manner. Thank you, and have a pleasant weekend.
Chris Wizner March 30, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Was not meant to be inflammatory, just the definition I found online. I agree with you on the infrastructure issue and since in office I am learning things I did not know before. For example many projects have been paid for by SPLOST funds, Bonds, Grants and Impact fees which are very restrictive on which type projects they can be used on. For example you can build a road but you cannot pay to fix existing roads with some funds. Crazy I agree, but the State or Federal government makes the rules.
James March 30, 2012 at 09:51 PM
This is transparency at its best. Keep it coming.

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