County manager ordinance draws heated debate
Matthew Strother News editor
Troup County Commissioners narrowly approved 3-1 this morning an amendment to its ordinance defining the duties and roles of the county manager after heated debate from some attendees and a fellow commissioner.
Among the amendment was a new review process where the commission chairman will conduct performance evaluations of the county manager, which he will report to the board. Unless otherwise determined by the board, the chairman may make adjustments to the manager’s compensation.
In the public hearing, resident Tommy Callaway said that new provision gives the chairman too much power.
“It seems like we’re putting the cart in front of the horse,” Callaway said. “We’ve added in that the commission chairman can periodically, or will periodically evaluate the performance of the county manager, then he will come to the board of the commissioners with his review. Then it is up to the commission board to go along with it. Now, it seems to me like, that prior to review of the county manager, the chairman needs to discuss with the board and make sure they don’t have any problem with his performance as well.”
Ron McClellan of West Point was more condemning in his claims that the ordinance would give the chairman power over the board in the county manager’s pay.
“If I’m not mistaken, it gives Chairman (Ricky) Wolfe and Chairman Wolfe alone unilateral ability to give him a bonus or a raise or some other compensation,” McClellan said.
“Your interpretation of that is 100 percent wrong,” responded County Attorney Jerry Willis.
“Well, then explain it to me,” McClellan said. “Make it clear, please.”
“Well, I will just refer back to you: (reading the amendment) ‘the chairman of the board of commissioners shall conduct periodic performance evaluations of the county manager, report upon the same to the board, and, unless otherwise determined by the board, may make adjustments to the county manager’s compensation.’ Now the way I understand ‘otherwise determined by the board,’ by my understanding of the English language, is that the board has the final say on that.”
Attendees also scrutinized other parts of the ordinance and debate among commissioners, county officials and some that spoke at the public hearing were heated.
For more on today’s meeting and the debate over the ordinance, see Wednesday edition of LaGrange Daily News.
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