By DOUG NURSE / The Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionPublished on: 07/30/07
Members of the Milton City Council have met for almost 2 hours, beginning shortly after 8 a.m. today in a special meeting to discuss "personnel matters," believed to be the employment future of their city manager.
Council members are upset that city manager Aaron Bovo didn't disclose to them that the city likely will forfeit $900,000 in tax revenue because of a missed deadline with the state.
Council members also have expressed displeasure that Bovos incorrectly claimed that the tax revenue in question would go to Fulton County where the city could access it. State officials have said that is highly unlikely.
"The City Council is extremely concerned about this loss of revenue and the fact they weren't informed of it for months, " said Council member Bill Lusk. "As a businessman, I understand that people make mistakes, but to not inform your superiors is inexcusable."
"It's about accountability, " said council member Rick Mohrig. "There needs to be accountability at the top. Under similar circumstances, if this happened in the private sector, there would be consequences."Mohrig declined to speculate what the consequences might be.
Bovos was hired to manage Milton following his successful tenure with the city of Sandy Springs. He is credited with helping the fledgling city of Milton get on its feet. The northwest Fulton County community became its own city on Dec. 1.
But the loss of the $900,000 in taxes would equal 7 percent of the city's $12.6 million budget, a large hit for a new city. The Milton city staff missed a Jan. 1 deadline to send documents to the state's Department of Insurance to qualify for the tax revenue.
The error was discovered in March when City Operations Director Carol Wolfe was talking to Department of Insurance staff about another matter and the subject of the tax came up. However, no Milton City Council members were made aware of the problem until July, when City Council member Karen Thurman inquired about it.
Bovos said the missed deadline was an oversight that occurred in the frenzied days of early cityhood when city staff were wading through reams of ordinances that needed to be adopted by the City Council. "It just got missed, " Bovos said in an earlier interview. "The agendas had 1,100 pages. This is two paragraphs."