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Jobs' first readings get council OK

LAWRENCEVILLE - By a vote of 4-0, the Lawrenceville City Council approved the first readings of revised job descriptions for the director of planning and zoning and for the director of risk management and building maintenance in a called meeting Wednesday.

The first reading of a job description for a new position of economic development officer for the city also was approved.

The council had directed the city attorney to draft the job descriptions at its Oct. 5 meeting, during which Mayor Rex Millsaps charged that council members P.K. Martin, Bob Clark and Marie Beiser had voted during a September executive session to move the city's long-time Planning Director Brad Leonard to the risk management and building maintenance position, hire a new planning director and create an economic development manager position in violation of Georgia's Open Meetings Act. Councilman Mike 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.

The council is expected to consider the second reading of the three job descriptions at its Nov. 2 meeting.

According to the revised job descriptions, 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 title of the proposed economic development manager was changed to officer.

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. The salary for the economic development officer would be recommended by the Atlanta Regional Commission.

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

The council has not yet approved the minutes from the controversial executive session. At the Oct. 5 meeting, Clark proposed deleting references to the vote from the minutes of the executive session. He presented revised minutes during the council's work session Wednesday, but the council could not vote on them because they were not listed on the agenda for the called meeting.

City Clerk Bob Baroni insisted that the original minutes from the executive session were correct.

"I'm sure that meeting was not a violation of the Open Meetings Act," City Attorney Tony Powell stated.

"But there was a vote - three for and one abstention," said Millsaps.

Martin suggested that the wording in both versions be compared, and the disputed minutes be discussed at the council's next executive session.

The minutes of the city council's executive sessions are not audio or video recorded.