The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
BYLINE: Joel Anderson; Staff
Peachtree Corners officially has started the process of creating the position of city manager.
The City Council on Tuesday reviewed the proposal that will allow members to hire someone to supervise the new city’s day-to-day operations. Council members will vote on the ordinance at their next meeting, which hasn’t been scheduled.
“The most important thing we can do is to get our own leadership to handle things,” Mayor Mike Mason said.
City leaders met last week to start drawing up the job ad for city manager. During that work session, consultant John Kachmar painstakingly went over the suggested list of qualifications, duties and even salary for the city manager.
Peachtree Corners’ eventual hire will have the task of running City Hall for Gwinnett County’s first new city in 56 years. It begins operation July 1.
Peachtree Corners’ consultants have said identifying a new city manager is one of the most important decisions facing the new officials, particularly since the city will operate in a scaled-down version — or “city-lite” model — and provide limited services in planning and zoning, code enforcement and garbage collection. Few candidates will have experience with that sort of model.
“My perception of this job is that it’s worse or harder than a regular job,” Kachmar, city manager of Johns Creek and a consultant for Peachtree Corners, told the council last week. “That’s because you’re going to have to do a lot of things yourself.”
In a draft version of the job ad, potential applicants are told “it is anticipated that municipal employee count will be very low with the bulk of direct service provision outsourced. Conversely, individual work load and specific work skill requirements for city staff will be high.”
The ad also highlights the size of the city (“… 38,000 making it the largest city in the county”), median home value ($368,408) and asks that applicants have at least 10 years of experience working in local government, preferably as a deputy city manager or city manager.
The anticipated salary ranges from $125,000 to $140,000.
Kachmar warned the council against hiring a “bureaucrat,” saying the new city manager would need to be good dealing with citizens and being the public face of City Hall. He also recommended tapping someone familiar with state law or experienced working in a township-type of government, where the city is mostly subordinate to the county.
“The biggest problem you have is time,” Kachmar told the council.
Copyright 2012 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution