Cost Continues to Mount as City Hires Another Attorney to Pursue Impeachment of Mayor

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Mayor James Grogan

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – The effort to impeach Mayor James Grogan took center stage at Monday’s Dawsonville City Council meeting as council voted to hire Gwinnett County attorney Tony Powell to push for impeachment.

Prior to that vote, Councilman Mike Sosebee made a motion to abandon the impeachment effort, but it died for lack of a second.

Grogan’s attorney Steven Leibel attended the meeting, but did not speak. After the meeting, however, he said, “It’s unfortunate. This is going to cost taxpayers a lot of money. It could take up to a year and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

The city paid attorney Abbott Hayes approximately $6,000 to conduct the investigation that led to the impeachment effort. Powell said his fee is $260 an hour.

In May, council voted to impeach Grogan 3-1, with Sosebee opposed. However, he remains in office, pending an appeal.

Council members have accused the mayor of — among other things — charging the city for attending meetings that were not pre-approved by the council and changing an application fee for water and sewer from a business rate to a slightly less expensive residential rate without council approval.

In other business, council tabled a request to amend existing zoning stipulations on property owned by Len Reeves at 280 Maple Street South, appointed Beverly Bannister deputy city clerk and approved an annexation ordinance for the purpose of setting an application fee for annexations and changing fees for zonings.

Council also appointed Tim Costley, Misty Moore and Kevin Hammond to serve on the Downtown Development Authority.

The mayor announced that the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada has awarded Bonnie Warne and the City of Dawsonville the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Finance Reporting. The award is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting. Its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.

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Commissioners Vote on Budget Amendment Thursday

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — The Dawson County Board of Commissioners will vote on a $374,440.42 increase in the Fiscal Year 2017 budget to accommodate the county employee pay raise approved last month when they meet Thursday at 6 p.m. in the Dawson County Government Center Assembly Room.

County commissioners say the salary increase was necessary to avoid the high cost of training new employees who replace those who leave for higher-paying jobs elsewhere.

Hibbymo Properties – Nix Bridge, will ask the Board to approve a variance request to increase the maximum square footage of a proposed Dollar General store it plans to construct and to decrease the minimum amount of parking required. The location is 970 Harmony Church Road near the intersection of Nix Bridge Road. That request was denied by the Planning Commission on Feb. 21.

Commissioners are expected to vote on new members of the Long-Range Planning Committee, including Gary Pichon (Chairman), Ronnie Adkins, Teri Tragresser, Jane Graves, Hugh Stowers, Jo Brewer, Tim Costley, Mandy Power and Dick Scharf. They will also vote to fill a vacant spot on the Planning Commission.

Other items the Board will consider include:
⦁ A request to dispose of surplus assets from Public Works;
⦁ Revision of the county’s Take Home & Vehicle Policy;
⦁ Purchase of a Bobcat Compact Excavator for Public Works and
⦁ An update of the Multi-Jurisdictional Mitigation Plan.

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