Norcross police chief retracts resignation

NORCROSS - The Norcross City Council agreed Monday to do an immediate review of executive-level salaries. In response, the city's police chief has withdrawn his resignation.

City Administrator Warren Hutmacher will report by the end of September on salaries for the positions of municipal court clerk, community development director, public works director, city clerk, administrative services director, police chief and city marshal.

"You've got to have a competitive environment for the best people," said Hutmacher, who has been on the job only six days.

"We want to be where the market is."

Hutmacher said he made no promises to Chief Dallas Stidd, who sent a letter to Hutmacher on Hutmacher's first day at work requesting either a $7,000 raise or a one-year leave of absence. If not, the letter said Stidd's last day of employment would be Friday.

But Stidd withdrew the letter and said Monday he has no plans to retire.

"I can't comment on it," the 18-year veteran said. "I like it here. Everything will work out, I'm sure."

In Hutmacher's press release, he said Stidd had been offered a contract position in Afghanistan, but Stidd wouldn't comment on that.

At a salary of $57,803, Stidd, who took over the department last summer, supervises a department of 33 sworn officers and 10 civilians.

In comparison, Lilburn Police Chief John Davidson was hired earlier this year at $75,000 to supervise a staff of 38 officers and support staff.

Hutmacher said the city has some money in a contingency that could be made available for raises if the study warrants it, and other employees' salaries will be considered as part of the annual budgeting process.

"This is a normal business practice that most businesses and municipal governments should do on a regular basis," he said.

Hutmacher said he wasn't sure if adjustments were necessary, but with two new cities being formed in nearby Fulton County, the salaries needed to remain competitive.

"We want to be where the market is," he said. "I'm making a commitment."

Executive salaries will be reviewed annually, he said.