After reconvening from an executive session Thursday to discuss personnel, the Hinesville City Council unanimously approved raise of close to $12,000 for Interim City Manager Ken Howard.
District 3 Council Member Vicky Nelson, who made the motion for the pay increase, said Howard will now be at a 28-H level pay grade.
The new grade calls for a 9.75 percent increase.
However, the council agreed to make it an even 10 percent increase. As assistant city manager, Howard earned an annual salary of $118,913, according to city officials.
The raise will be retroactive to the date when Howard was appointed acting city manager this past summer. Howard began his appointed leadership of the city’s day-to-day operations prior to former city manager Billy Edwards’ resignation.
During the regular meeting, council members reviewed a proposed amendment to city codes that to clarify the appointment and removal of a city manager.
City Attorney Linnie Darden III presented a draft of the proposed changes to the city ordinances based on a Georgia Municipal Association model ordinance.
The section of the draft ordinance dealing with the city manager’s appointment, term and qualifications reads:
“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 manager shall be chosen solely on the basis of his executive, administrative and managerial qualifications with special reference to his actual experience in or his knowledge of accepted practices in respect to the duties of his office set forth in this division. At the time of his appointment he need not be a resident of the city or the state, but during his tenure of office he shall reside within the city. No city councilmember shall receive such appointment during the term for which he shall have been elected, nor within one year after the expiration of his term.”
The section of the draft ordinance dealing with removal reads:
“The city council may remove the city manager from office in accordance with the following procedures: (1) The city council shall adopt by affirmative vote of a majority of all its members a preliminary resolution which must state the reasons for removal and may suspend the manager from duty for a period not to exceed 45 days. A copy of the resolution shall be delivered promptly to the manager. (2) Within five days after a copy of the resolution is delivered to the manager, the manager may file with the city council a written request for a public hearing. This hearing shall be held within 30 days after the request is filed. The manager may file with the council a written reply not later than five days before the hearing. (3) If the manager has not requested a public hearing within the time specified in paragraph 2 above, the city council may adopt a final resolution for removal, which may be made effective immediately, by an affirmative vote of a majority of all its members. If the manager has requested a public hearing, the city council may adopt a final resolution for removal, which may be made effective immediately, by an affirmative vote of a majority of all its members at any time after the public hearing.”
Council members stated they would communicate any questions or revision requests regarding the draft ordinance to Howard, who would then forward them to Darden.
In other business, the council approved numerous requests for rezoning petitions and special permit uses, including a special use permit from GeoVista Credit Union to sell repossessed vehicles at 601 W. Oglethorpe Highway. The city also will grant Miraya Investments, LLC’s request to rezone 4.35 acres of land from R-4 (single-, two-family dwelling district) to C-3 (highway commercial district) for a convenience store and gas station plus a retail center at 1135 W. Oglethorpe Highway.
In addition, council members approved a site plan for a new Jimmy John’s restaurant. The fast food eatery will be on the southeast corner of Gen. Screven Way and West Hendry Street.
The council also approved a preliminary plat for Dryden Enterprises for 195 single-family residential lots off Topi Trail and Meloney Drive in Country Club subdivision.
LCPC Executive Director Jeff Ricketson presented the council a proposed revision to a section of the city’s zoning ordinance that deals with special use permits. The amendment is “to restrict re-submittals for the same parcel to once every 12 months similar to the restriction that already exists for the rezoning of properties,” according to Ricketson. Council members will review the draft amendment.
In other business, the council:
• Held a public hearing on the proposed $36.8 million budget for fiscal year 2018. The city has proposed rolling back the millage rate by .25 mills. Council members will vote on the budget at the next regular meeting, Oct. 19. The city’s fiscal year begins Oct. 31.
• Approved special one-day permits for Lady Jay’s Seafood and Daily Bread Café to sell beer during the first Hispanic Festival at Bryant Commons. Maui Wowi Island Café was granted a special one-day permit to serve liquor during the inaugural festival noon-8 p.m. Oct. 14.
• Set Halloween trick-or-treating 6-8 p.m. Oct. 31.