Left to right are Weare Gratwick, Lorri Christopher, Jeanne Aulbach, Mayor Mike Mason, Judge Warren Davis, Phil Sadd, Jay Lowe, and Alex Wright.
PEACHTREE CORNERS -- Mayor Mike Mason grinned and chuckled when using his gavel (the one he almost forgot at home) for the first time Tuesday, a sentiment subsequently echoed by the rest of the city council and a few dozen residents gathered inside the sanctuary of Christ the King Lutheran Church.
The gathering was a first for the newly formed city of Peachtree Corners, the inaugural council meeting of Gwinnett's brand new municipality. First-time jitters mingled with excitement as official business was finally undertaken. A round of applause ensued as Mason called the meeting to order.
"I rehearsed it several times," he admitted afterward.
Nerves aside, the mayor and six-member council got down to business Tuesday night, unanimously passing a number of motions to get the city rolling.
William F. Riley, currently in the same position with the city of Johns Creek, was named Peachtree Corners' acting city attorney. Joan Jones, also with Johns Creek, was nominated and agreed upon as the acting city clerk.
Both have been permitted to act outside of their normal duties with Johns Creek to help with the establishment of Peachtree Corners' government. They'll work on nights, weekends and down time on an interim basis in order to "get us on our feet as quickly as possible," Councilman Weare Gratwick pointed out.
In the same vein, the council voted to bring in temporary consultants "to assist with the startup of Peachtree Corners." Those consultants will come in the form of John McDonough (the city manager of Sandy Springs) and John Kachmar (the city manager of Johns Creek).
The duo will help with a little bit of everything for the city, officials said Tuesday, from an executive search for a permanent city manager, revenue forecasts and outlining general policies and procedures within the city.
They'll "hopefully" have completed their job within 120 days or so, Kachmar said.
"We're not here for the long run," he said. "We're here to set you up and be on our way, and make sure we give you a good product."
Like Riley and Jones, McDonough and Kachmar both have experience starting new cities.
"We have to build a foundation and lay it the right way," Councilman James Lowe said, "and the opportunity to bring in these two gentlemen with the experience they have is terrific."
While Councilwoman Jeanne Aulbach also pointed out that the interim positions affirmed Tuesday came at "a great (financial) rate," Peachtree Corner's first mayor repeatedly urged to both the council and audience that time was of the essence.
"We had to get it off the dining room table," Mason said.