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Snellville council may lose city manager

SNELLVILLE - The fate of Snellville's first city manager may be up for discussion during Monday's City Council meeting.

Mayor Jerry Oberholtzer confirmed that four council members have not turned in reviews for City Manager Jeff Timler. The reviews and any raises he qualified for were due in January, according to Timler's contract.

"It's very disturbing," Oberholtzer said. "This was a major accomplishment of my administration. We were going to take the politics out of the everyday business of the city of Snellville. We put a professional in charge."

Timler was not at work on Friday and did not return phone calls left at his office and on his cell phone.

Oberholtzer said he has not been informed about Timler's decision regarding his contract, but the mayor pointed out that Timler's employment agreement allows him six months severance if the council breaches the contract.

Oberholtzer and Councilwoman Barbara Bender said they turned in positive reviews for Timler, who grew up in Snellville and worked at the city park as a teenager.

Councilman Robert Jenkins said he filled out a review but admitted he has not yet turned in the paperwork, which was due last month. He declined to say whether the review was positive or negative.

Councilman Warren Auld declined to discuss the review process, and council members Bruce Garraway and Kelly Kautz did not return phone calls Friday.

"I believe the public has the right to know what's going on," Auld said. "The council will speak to that at the appropriate time."

Auld said he was "drawn between wanting to defend myself" and talking about matter before Monday's meeting.

Oberholtzer said an executive session is planned to talk about Timler and other city issues.

He said he believes Timler has "done an outstanding job" in his time with the city. Timler worked under three mayors and was the city's planning director before the charter was changed to a city manager form of government in 2004.

Former Mayor Brett Harrell said he was saddened to hear about the possible turnover.

He described Timler as smart, thoughtful and "a local boy done good."

"If it turns out to be true, we've lost a dedicated, long-term, fantastic employee," Harrell said.

"That's a great story," he said of Timler's rise from a part-time grass-cutter to city manager. "I'm sorry if it's coming to an end."