City Council set to backtrack on reduction in mayor’s pay

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — In a complete reversal of its Dec. 2017 decision to slash the mayor’s pay, Dawsonville City Council members are now expected to vote for a substantial increase not only in the mayor’s pay, but for each council member when they meet Monday at 5:30 p.m. at city hall.

Councilman Mark French has been adamantly opposed to the pay raise since the idea surfaced during a public hearing on Jan. 7.  Two weeks later, during the second public hearing, French said, “I would like to state my continued opposition to any increase for the mayor or any member of the council.”

In a phone interview with Fetch Your News the next day, French said, when the mayor’s pay was reduced, we were told the reason was the city had just hired – for the first time — a city manager who would take over many of the mayor’s responsibilities. “But now council is looking to increase the salary and no additional duties have been added,” he said.

If the increase is approved, it would nearly double the mayor’s pay to $1,000 per month plus $150 for a city council meeting and another $150 for each additional meeting pre-approved by city council. Council members’ pay would increase from $500 to $600 per month plus an additional $150 per city council meeting and $150 for an additional meeting per-approved by council. All that is in addition to approximately $20,000 in insurance benefits the mayor and council now receive.

A number of people have questioned why city council has backtracked on the issue.

Former Mayor James Grogan thinks he knows the answer.

Grogan has said the pay reduction was politically motivated. In 2016, Councilmen Jason Power and Caleb Phillips and former Councilwoman Angie Smith voted to oust Grogan from office for alleged violations of the city charter. Grogan went to court to get his job back, but lost.

He says when Phillips, Power and Smith got word he planned to run against then interim mayor Mike Eason in a special election they voted to reduce the pay to deter him. Grogan did run again, but was defeated by Eason.

In other action under the consent agenda Monday, council is expected to approve:

  • The Get Your Glow On 5k Race scheduled for Mar. 8;
  • A special event alcohol permit for Georgia Racing Hall of Fame for Mar. 2;
  • Auditing services RFQ;
  • Construction Management Services RFQ;
  • Storm water Facility Management agreement;
  • A motion to table the parking project at city hall.

Under New Business, council is expected to vote on:

  • An amendment to the garbage service ordinance;
  • Red Oak Sanitation contract;
  • Calculation of service charge for garbage service.

 

 

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