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.