While Doraville mayor Ray Jenkins was in a hospital recovering from a bout with pneumonia, the city council was considering a move to limit his powers.
Citing the need for “competent management,” council member Bob Roche called for an immediate vote last Monday on hiring a city manager.
“Citizens want something different,” Roche said.
Nearly a year ago, the council agreed to ask the state legislature to allow residents to decide in a referendum for a city manager form of government. But Roche said the city cannot wait for the possible July vote.
A city administrator would be responsible for the daily operations, management and budget of Doraville’s government. This position would have the authority to supervise, hire and fire employees and would report to the council.
Roche said the ideal candidate would have a masters’ degree in public administration and 10 years experience as a city manager, assistant city manager or city management consultant. The salary would be a maximum of $120,000, which is about $10,000 higher than that paid in other comparable cities in the area.
“If that person is capable of providing a balanced budget, that would save us $2 million a year, which to me sounds like a good investment,” Roche said.
Doraville city attorney Murray Weed told the council that the city’s charter allowed for the hiring of a city manager who is delegated any of the budgetary and administrative duties of the mayor.
According to the current charter, although the council can create the city manager position, it is the mayor who selects and hires the person. The council also has the authority to fire the person and fund the position, Weed said.
But some council members said they were concerned about hiring a city manager who could essentially be a temporary employee if voters decided not to change the form of government.
A native of Doraville, Jenkins was elected to the city council in 1974. He was elected mayor in 2003 and re-elected in 2007. His term ends this year.
Luke Howe, the mayor’s assistant, said Jenkins is expected to be released from the hospital this week.