Coty wants Grantville charter amended; Sells objects to 'micromanaging'By REBECCA LEFTWICH
Grantville Mayor Jim Sells objected to what he calls “micromanaging” by the city council after council member Selma Coty proposed changing the city’s charter to allow for the development of administrative procedures for items sold by sealed bid.
Dustin Jarrell, who spoke during the council’s Monday meeting, said he was interested in buying a van he saw advertised in The Newnan Times-Herald, offered by the City of Grantville. A clerical mixup by the city caused the ad to run a month longer than intended, and before Jarrell could see the van and submit a bid, Sells sold the vehicle to the only bidder.
“What the council is wanting to do is micromanage me,” he said. “You’re adding more cogs to the wheel.”
“This doesn’t have anything to do with Jim Sells,” council member Johnny Cooks said. “We’re trying to make the sale and purchase by citizens more fair. What Selma is attempting to do is to make this more public.”
Sells said he was unaware of the mixup at the time he opened the single sealed bid received by Grantville and completed the sale.
“I don’t care about a van, I care about getting the business of this city done,” he said.
Currently, Grantville’s charter authorizes the mayor to sell items worth less than $500 considered “obsolete, surplus or unuseable” without a bid process, according to City Attorney Mark Mitchell. Real estate sales have to be approved by the council and city property worth more than $500 has to be offered through the bid process, Mitchell said.
“If it doesn’t have fair market value, this won’t affect it,” Coty said of her proposal. “We would be using state law to facilitate selling real and personal property.”
“Don’t let anything else be sold until we discuss it as a council,” Sells told City Manager Johnny Williams.
Coty said she intends to bring the issue back June 1, when the council could adopt the policies and administrative procedures which she currently is bringing into line with state policies and procedures.
“When the procedures are in place, there will be a streamlined way of handling this,” Coty said.
In other business:
• The council heard a second proposal from Coty, who asked the council to look at changing “how we conduct our business at meetings.” Coty and council member Rochelle Jabaley objected to Sells’ quashing of questions to Mitchell during the council’s April 23 meeting.
“My contention is that there are times when council members should be able to ask questions, or else it stifles the exchange and limits transparency,” Coty said.
Sells said Jabaley was requesting specifics about streets and police protection which Mitchell did not have readily available during a comments-only portion of the meeting, but Jabaley protested.
“I don’t believe I asked in any other way than general terms,” she said. “I barely got five words out.”
“I have no problem with people asking questions,” Sells said. To Jabaley, he added, “I want to apologize to you. I generally find you reasonable, and if I misunderstood, I apologize.”
• Approved was Jabaley’s recommendation that the city temporarily suspend its recreation program and focus all of its efforts into building a water park for Grantville residents and others in the area.
“My contention is the city should spend the majority of its recreation money on the majority of its citizens,” Jabaley said in response to Recreation Department Director Trellis Zachery’s plea to continue the city’s summer youth program, which Jabaley said usually involves less than 100 children.
Later, however, during a closed portion of the same meeting, council members relented and decided to keep the program in place for 2012 while still focusing on moving ahead with a water park.
“We have money available,” Jabaley said. “We could spend it on something people could see or do.”
• Heard was a request from Downtown Development Authority Chairman Scott Palmer for the creation of a golf cart/ bicycle ordinance that would require the refurbishing of the city’s current sidewalks to accommodate carts and bicycles or the construction of new paths.
Jabaley offered to sit down with DDA members to discuss their ideas, then bring the matter back before the council.
• Engaged was a new accounting firm, Edgar and Associates, LLC.
• Discussed was changing the city’s professional contractors from hourly pay to retainers.