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Hinesville council looks at changing charter
Members want to 'clarify' hiring and firing of administrator
City council member Vicky Nelson, City Manager Billy Edwards and Hinesville Mayor Allen Brown at Thursday's meeting. - photo by By Lawrence Dorsey

With a busy but fairly routine agenda the Hinesville City Council Thursday moved toward changing part of the way city managers are hired.

Some council members seemed to question the meaning of the city charter provision, Sec. 2-282, which says that the city manager is hired “by a majority vote of the Mayor and City Council . . . .” In routine situations the mayor votes only if there is a tie among the five members of council.

In at least one case, however, the mayor is specifically given a vote of his own. The city charter says that when hiring a municipal judge or associate municipal judge the consent of the mayor is required, along with at least four council members’ votes.

Whether Hinesville Mayor Allen Brown would have a vote in hiring a future city manager is apparently interesting enough that City Attorney Lennie Darden has begun polling other attorneys for their views. “The opinions of the lawyers I consulted are about evenly split,” he said. Darden said as long as the matter is unclear, the mayor voting only in case would probably control.

Council member Diana Reid moved to have the city attorney draft language that would clarify Sec. 2-282 dealing with the appointment of city managers and the motion passed.

Another issue related to the city manager’s office was posted as part of Council member Vicky Nelson’s report: City Manager’s Annual Evaluation. Nelson said in some instances the job title was listed incorrectly and should read city manager, not city administrator. The item was listed “To review the city manager’s evaluation timeline with the mayor and council,” but no discussion of the timeline was audible.

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