Future uncertain for two key Porterdale city appointments
City clerk, Better Hometown manager jobs hang in balance
The positions of Porterdale’s city clerk and Better Hometown manager have faced uncertainty since the beginning of the year.
At the Jan. 7 Porterdale City Council meeting, as all other city officials were newly appointed or reappointed and sworn into office, Councilman Robert Foxworth moved to defer the reappointment of City Clerk Shari Stevenson until the Monday meeting.
“ My nerves are completely shot,” Stevenson said. “ I haven’t had any sleep in a couple of days, and anything I eat just goes right through me.”
Foxworth cited discrepancies on expense reports as the reason for deferring her appointment. Mayor Bobby Hamby said the inconsistencies were the result of a computer error and could be easily explained.
Despite Hamby’s explanation, all the board members, with the exception of Kay Piper, voted to defer her appointment.
“ The city of Porterdale is very fortunate to have a city clerk as qualified as Shari is,” Piper said at the Jan. 7 meeting.
Stevenson has worked as Porterdale’s city clerk for five years and is certified for the position. Before working for Porterdale, she worked with the United States Border Patrol at the Canadian boarder.
Thursday, Foxworth and Councilman Mike Harper called a special meeting to discuss a “personnel matter” as part of the council’s regularly scheduled work session.
Because Councilwoman Piper did not attend Thursday’s work session, the council did not have quorum and could not vote to move into executive session to discuss the matter or vote on any measure.
Porterdale’s Better Home- town Manager Patti Battle may not be reappointed at Monday’s meeting as well.
Thursday, Council members discussed the idea of completely cutting the Better Hometown program to decrease the city’s expenditures in a tight economy.
At the council’s December meeting, a heated dialogue took place about the costs of the three community events planned by Battle.
Foxworth and Harper took issue with the fact Battle did not seek council approval for the money she spent on the July Fourth Patriotic Day, Yellow River Jam and Christmas in the Village events.
Battle began working as Better Hometown manager in the late spring of 2007, so the city’s budget did not include line items for the program.
As the discussion intensified at the December meeting, Foxworth moved to go into executive session to discuss Battle’s position. Nothing was resolved at the December meeting.
At the January meeting, the Better Hometown issue came up again. Hamby and Piper came to Battle’s defense.
“ There are several key ingredients to Porterdale’s revitalization and the implementation of the Better Hometown is part of it,” Piper said. “There should be a line item in this year’s budget, so she knows the constraints within which she is working.”
Battle recently graduated from the Georgia Academy of Economic Development.
“We know there have been some mistakes made in the six months we’ve had a Better Hometown program,” Hamby said. “ Now is the time to make allocations in the budget and policies to guide the director.”
The council will vote on the city clerk and Better Hometown director reappointments at their 6: 30 p. m. meeting Monday.