Deal or No Deal? DDA Requests Intergovernmental Agreement

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During the Ellijay City Council workshop on Tuesday, January 22nd, Downtown Development Authority (DDA) requested action on an intergovernmental agreement.After the workshop, DDA President Larry Robinson told FYN the agreement essentially states that the city’s Better Hometown Manager position would be changed to the title of DDA Director, a position Robinson says must be accounted for in the DDA’s first active year. The DDA held its first organized meeting almost a year ago last March.

Currently, Ellijay employee Mona Lowe holds the Better Hometown Manager position, a position she’s held since the DDA was first organized. In order to meet state regulations and keep the DDA operational, the position must be made official. On Tuesday, the DDA also requested a salary of $32,600 for the position, which Ellijay Mayor Al Hoyle says is not possible.

“That dollar amount exceeds the amount budgeted in our 2013 budget,”

Hoyle told FYN yesterday.

Last year, the city said Lowe’s annual income was approximately $27,000, which means the city would have to increase its budget by more than $5,000. The city did not take action on the issue.

“What I’ve asked is to give her the title without the raise,”

Robinson told FYN after the work session. Robinson hopes the city will approve the agreement before time runs out in March.

Also, in the regular city council meeting on Tuesday, the city welcomed its new City Police Chief Edward Lacey to his first meeting.

“I would like to thank the council for this tremendous opportunity…I am settled in now with two weeks behind me and having a very good time,”

Lacey said. He went on to say that the city was already in talks with the County Sheriff’s Department for a new metal detector for use during city court sessions. He says this will provide more safety during this time.

New Police Chief Edward Lacey at his very first city council meeting.

During the meeting, council also approved the city’s 2013 Audit Service Agreement. According to City Clerk Sharon Spivey, the 2013 Audit Service Agreement is a required annual audit including everything from police salaries to tickets to fines. The R.L. Jennings Accounting Firm will conduct the audit. Jennings has conducted the city’s audit for the last two years.

Spivey says the Audit Service Agreement will cost the city a total of $12,000 and usually lasts about three weeks and will begin anywhere from mid-May to mid-June.

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