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Planning director moves to different position

LAWRENCEVILLE --The Lawrenceville City Council voted 3-1 Monday to move long-time Planning and Zoning Director Brad Leonard to director of risk management and building maintenance after approving the second readings of revised job descriptions for both positions.

In the same vote, the council approved the second reading of a job description for a new position of economic development officer with a salary ranging from $51,811 to $84,969. The salary range for this position was recommended by the Atlanta Regional Commission.

The motion passed by the council was made by Councilman Bob Clark and seconded by Councilman P.K. Martin with Councilwoman Marie Beiser supporting it.

Councilman Mike Crow cast the dissenting vote after questioning how the city's planning department would be managed without a director.

"I think we have enough talent in the administration to handle it," Clark said.

Clark clarified after the council meeting that it would be up to Mayor Rex Millsaps and City Clerk Bob Baroni to determine how the department's business would be handled in the interim. Clark also said that efforts were already underway to find and hire a new planning and zoning director.

Leonard left the meeting before the vote and was not available for comment.

The council had approved first readings of the three job descriptions in a called meeting Oct. 21 after directing the city attorney to draft the documents at its Oct. 5 regular meeting.

According to the job descriptions adopted by the council, the planning director would remain under the supervision of the city clerk. The risk management and building maintenance director would be supervised by the city clerk, and the economic development officer would be supervised by the planning director.

The salary for the planning and zoning director ranges from $52,052 to $82,586, and the salary for the risk management and building maintenance director ranges from $33,375 to $54,688.

Leonard reportedly would receive the same salary and benefits while serving as the city's risk management and building director as he has been receiving as director of planning and zoning.

John Bernard, who had been the city's risk management and building maintenance director, recently retired.

The council retired into executive session where it was expected to address the issue of approving disputed minutes from a controversial executive session in September.

Millsaps has charged that Clark, Martin and Beiser violated Georgia's Open Meetings Act by voting to move Leonard to the risk management and building maintenance position, hire a new planning director and create the economic development position during that executive session. Crow reportedly abstained from the vote.

While personnel matters may be discussed in executive session, the state's "Sunshine law" requires that votes occur at public meetings.

City Attorney Tony Powell has maintained that the Sunshine law was not violated during the September executive session in question.