College Park at a standstill on staff bonuses, $4.7M budget increase

by Fulton Watch News Feed

City Council approved a nearly $171 million budget last summer before the start of the new fiscal year on July 1. Earlier this fall, council began reviewing a budget increase proposed by City Manager Stanley Hawthorne and was set to vote Nov. 20 on a $4.7 million amendment.

The increase would include $426,000 in holiday incentive pay and $700,000 towards acquiring land for the planned $1.5 billion development project, Six West. The 311-acre site is near Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Carn and Gay say they did not make plans together to miss the meetings. Carn stated last week that he would not attend Monday’s meeting because approving the amendment would hamper incoming city council members who might want to do things differently.

Tuesday, Gay said he was absent for medical reasons and the $4.7 million amendment is coming too soon after the original budget was approved last June. Similar to Carn, Gay said most of the budget increase items can wait until the new council is sworn-in in January.

The two have urged Hawthorne to get a consensus of council by phone or video conferencing to approve the bonuses so staff can receive the holiday pay.

Hawthorne says a consensus was reached on most of the amendment items during a special called meeting in October and he doesn’t have the authority to pay out bonuses without a formal vote during a public meeting.

“(I) expected to get that approval on Nov. 20, and then Nov. 27 and then Dec. 4,” he said of the final three regular City Council meetings of the year. “This would be spending money that was never authorized by council. I absolutely don’t have the authority.”

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