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Friday, August 10, 2007

Milton's City Manager Steps Down

By DOUG NURSE / The Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionPublished on: 08/09/07

The Milton City Council on Thursday lost the only city manager it has ever known.
After a brief executive session, Mayor Joe Lockwood announced that City Manager Aaron Bovos submitted a letter of resignation, effective immediately. City Council members would not comment on the resignation, nor the terms of a severance package for Bovos. If the council had fired him, the city would have had to pay him a year's salary, $145,000.

Public Safety Director Chris Lagerbloom will assume Bovos' duties temporarily. A search for a permanent replacement will begin immediately.

Some members of the City Council were angry with Bovos because he waited four months to tell them of the probable loss of about $900,000 in tax revenue. City Council members also were unhappy that Bovos told them the money would go to Fulton County where the city could access it, which is now considered unlikely. Some city council members first learned from an Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter that the city probably had forfeited the tax revenue.

Losing Bovos came after 20 hours of closed door deliberations by the City Council over the past two weeks. But council met only 15 minutes in closed session Thursday night before publicly accepting his resignation. Bovos has been on paid "vacation" since July 30. Bovos was paid about $2,800 a week.

Bovos started in Milton in September from Sandy Springs where as assistant city manager he helped launch that new city in 2005. When he came to Milton, supporters of cityhood were delighted to have his experience in starting up new municipalities. This community of 20,000 northwest Fulton County officially became its own city on Dec. 1.

Under Bovos' brief tenure, Milton started its fire and police departments, launched municipal court, found a temporary City Hall, adopted ordinances and regulations common to cities, and established procedures for inspections, issuing permits, and tax collections.

But the likely loss of $900,000 in tax revenue, about 7 percent of the annual budget of $12.7 million, would be a major blow to the city as it tries to deliver on promises of equal or better services, low taxes, and more efficient government.

The error was discovered in March when finance director Carol Wolfe was talking to Department of Insurance staff about another matter and the subject of the tax came up. However, no city council members were made aware of the problem until July when a councilwoman asked about it.

7 comments:

Alexis said...

What a shame about Aaron. Had several of the council not created problems and constantly fought I bet this oversight would have never occured. His attention AS WELL AS OTHERS could have been focused on the city issues.
Thank goodness election time is around the corner.
It's time to take out the trash.

Anonymous said...

I think that Milton has lost a very important resource. Bovos worked hard for the city and was a large part of the successes we have had.

Remember, Bovos offered his time free of charge prior to incorporation. Mistakes happen, and this is actually a unique occurence, and I think it would have been best to wait things out and see the end results before making any decisions.

It's unfortunate that several members of the city council think they are perfect, but hey, that's why we hold elections every few years, we always have a chance to fix what is broken.

-Travis Allen

Tim Enloe said...

I agree with Travis and Alexis.
One has to wonder if this oversight would have happened if the staff didn't have to deal with the infamous four. While I don't know Aaron that well, I will say that the times we have spoke have been positive and he always provided an open ear. While I have no idea what transpired behind closed doors, I have no doubt that this was another 3 vs 4. I do look forward to the fall. It is time to elect leaders instead of followers.

Anonymous said...

amen brother!

the power of positive and creative thinking is something we will sorely lack with the resignation of Bovos

this must be corrected, and quickly if we are to progress as a new city

certain city council members must be forced to realize that their actions are nothing but harmful

old timer said...

Can't help but notice O'Brien has been on a "go team"...can't figure what kind of team Mohreg has belonged. Think we could form a team, name it "Go Away Team" and put these two on it by voting them out of office?
When the other two gang members are voted out, place them on this team. Last, but not least, vote the Sheriff out and she can be captain of this team.

Patti Silva said...

We just lost one of the greatest team players Milton will ever have. Aaron's resignation, forced no doubt, is a sad reflection on this city. The bottom line is this: Aaron didn't play political games and the the "majority" of the council members didn't like that he wouldn't play with them. It is not about the $900,000. What if he is being used as the scapegoat? Sadly, who really loses here, is us - the community of Milton.

alexis said...

I am with you Patti. Well put