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Council members urge respect for assistant city manager

POSTED: August 9, 2017 5:00 a.m.

Assistant City Manager Kenneth Howard

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The Hinesville City Council took no action after reconvening a called meeting following a closed session Monday to discuss two personnel items, one of which was City Manager Billy Edwards’ job evaluation.
After re-entering into open session, several council members said they should show Assistant City Manager Ken Howard respect and allow him to perform his job without interference from them during this “transitional” period.
“I challenge us to stay out of day-to-day activities,” District 3 Council Member Vicky Nelson said. “He is the person that has the authority.”
Nelson added the council and mayor should be mindful of Howard’s role as acting manager and allow him to “bond” with staff.
District 1 City Council Member Diana Reid echoed Nelson’s comments, saying, “It would be undermining his authority,” if they interfered in the city’s daily operations.
When asked by the Courier if City Manager Billy Edwards resigned, Mayor Allen Brown replied Edwards had not. Brown said council considered Howard acting manager while Edwards was out of town on vacation.
Mayor Pro Tem Kenneth Shaw and District 2 Council Member Jason Floyd did not attend the called meeting.
The council previously announced it would hold an executive session at its Aug. 17 meeting to present Edwards’ his job performance evaluation.
On Aug. 3 Council members discussed amending Section 2-282 which deals with the appointment of a city manager. The proposed change would effectively remove the mayor from any such vote for appointment, and leave the decision with the city council only.
Council members also discussed amending Section 2-286 which deals with removal of a city manager. If approved next week, the amended code would read, “The city manager may be removed by a majority vote of the city council for good cause at any time.”

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