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Hinesville council appears set to limit mayor involvement in city manager issues

POSTED: November 7, 2017 5:00 a.m.

The Hinesville City Council is moving forward with changes to city ordinances that appear to limit the mayor’s involvement in the hiring and firing of future city managers.
Both proposed changes could be voted on at the city’s Nov. 16 meeting.
Council members have pushed since July to change the ordinances, section 2-282 and 2-286, at the behest of Councilwoman Diana Reid, who moved to have new language drafted by the city attorney to clarify the appointment and hiring of the city manager position.
During the Aug. 3 meeting council members also requested language clarification for the section of the ordinance that deals with the removal of the city manager.
The ordinance, section 2-282, now reads that the city manager “shall be appointed by a majority vote of the mayor and city council for an indefinite term.
If approved, the ordinance will read, “The city manager shall be appointed by a majority vote of the city council for an indefinite term and shall fix the manager’s compensation.”
The proposed amendment to the ordinance on how to suspend or remove a city manager also removes the mayor from the process.
Interim City Manager Kenneth Howard said the amendments are clearer than the current ordinances.
“Essentially what it does is clarifies language that governs the appointment, term, qualifications and removal of city manager,” Howard said.
“Is that the GMA (Georgia Municipal Association) model?” Reid asked. “Is that the GMA model that the mayor requested that we use? I am in agreement with it.”
Hinesville Mayor Allen Brown responded, “By the way and for the record I didn’t request it. Somebody else asked him to and I agreed with it. I thought it was a good idea to look at their model. But I did not request it.”
“Well it’s a good idea to use the GMA model,” Reid replied.
The city has posted the job vacancy for City Manager. Applications will be accepted until Dec. 18. Minimum starting salary is listed at $109,789.
Reid and councilmembers Vicky Nelson and Keith Jenkins voted to suspend former city manager Billy Edwards in June due to Reid’s apparent belief that he was trying to have her removed from council.
Edwards, who served as the city’s manager for nearly four decades, has since resigned.

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1 comment
LCarol: Posted: November 8, 2017 1:09 a.m.

OK couple questions here. The Mayor is an elected official just like the council persons are so why should he be limited to not have a say so in hiring and firing. If city council thinks they are the sole decision makers than what purpose is it to have a mayor and for that matter a city manager.

I've been doing research in city ordinances regarding the structure of what is in place such as a code of conduct for hired city employees and elected officials like mayor, city council, etc.

From what I have read there is suppose to be an ethics committee of five people I believe it stated who when a compliant is filed against a city employee the research and investigate and then make recommendations to city council people as to what actions to take but ultimately the city council can choose to or not follow the recommendation.

With that being said my next question is who polices the city council members if they screw up? If the complaint is filed with the ethics committee and then they are required to report back to city council with recommendations I don't see them following those recommendations against any sitting city council member if that person has done something wrong. Where are the checks and balances regarding as to who sitting city council persons answer to if one of them screws up. Do they protect each other and do nothing or do they actually morally do what is right and in the best interest of the city and its citizens.

If I'm interpreting what I read wrong I'm sure someone will get back with a proper response or at least I hope they do.

Now my next question is who are those five members selected from the community on this ethics committee? I truly would like to know and where does one go to file a complaint if needed to the ethics committee. In other words who is the contact person we file the report with.

How does one go about filing to have a sitting city council member removed from their elected office if needed?



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