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Monday, August 25, 2008

Milton City Manager Resigns

by Hatcher Hurd / Appen Newspapers

August 25, 2008 MILTON — For the second time in its 20-month history, Milton is without its city manager.Milton City Manager Billy Beckett announced his resignation from his position with the city effective Sept. 24, ending a roughly four-month tenure at a crucial time in the city's budget process.He was the second city manager Milton has had in less than two years. Aaron Bovos resigned in August 2007 following fallout from an $850,000 filing mistake.

Among the reasons Beckett cited were ongoing e-mail exchanges with several council members he felt hamstrung his ability to do his job in a competent, timely manner. He said the tipping point was an exchange with Councilman Alan Tart Aug. 23.Tart said the e-mail exchange involved several statements Beckett made to citizens regarding Milton's sewer policy. Tart said he'd found the statements to be false, and wanted to know how Beckett was going to deal with it."I was not going to take the fall to the citizens," Tart said. Beckett wrote back saying he would resign if Tart's feelings were so strong. "It's almost like I called him on an error, and rather than fix the problem, he resigned," said Tart. "It's like we're dealing with a 5-year-old."

Beckett, who has more than 30 years of government experience, most of it as a city or county manager, said there were many reasons for his stepping down, but mainly it was a culmination of a lack of ability to communicate with a restive minority on the City Council. Beckett said he was discouraged by the continual barrage of e-mails from council members demanding information or requests, and often cast in an adversarial light."I determined this was not a good fit. It had more to do with the chemistry with three of the council members ultimately," Beckett said. "It was challenging that I did not have the resources to meet all of their requests."

Beckett said the lack of an assistant to help deal with the ongoing requests for information, reports and research of issues contributed to his decision. But Beckett also said he felt he was not able to keep the City Council on a course to deal with the issues, and instead got sidetracked too often.Milton Mayor Joe Lockwood said Beckett sent an e-mail to council Saturday, Aug. 23, saying he'd had enough. He officially resigned Monday."I have nothing but excellent things to say about Billy Beckett," the mayor said. "Every one of our citizens, all of our staff liked him, he had a great working relationship. I Guess there just wasn't chemistry with others."With Beckett citing the heavy demands on his time placed by only several members of the council, Lockwood said there city needs to take a look at how it currently works."I am prepared to work on the procedures and processes to allow the city manager to do his job," said Lockwood. "I feel a majority of council would support that."Beckett was appointed unanimously by council April 21 after a roughly seven-month search.

77 comments:

Miltonville said...

It's Blues-ville in Miltonville today.

Anonymous said...

Tart needs to go!

Anonymous said...

And he really carrys some respect, 8 months as a council member with no experience and his head up JZB's rear end! Dealing with a 5 year old is right.

Anonymous said...

What happened to Tart?

Anonymous said...

He was "mis-guided" at some point?

Anonymous said...

most council members (when they start) do not have experience - your point??
There is more to this story than we are led to believe. If Beckett really quit over an email exchange (or disagreement) then perhaps he is not the right man for the job.
I hate to see him go and wish him well.

Anonymous said...

Alpharetta, Cherokee County, Forsyth County will not annex us. Looks like we need to get on our knees and ask Fulton to take us back.

Anonymous said...

Milton residents should expect better from our elected leaders who voted unanimously for Billy Beckett. They thought he was the right man for the job but wouldn't let him do it. He had the working experience, but not the tolerance for the chaos in Milton government.

Anonymous said...

Beckett is just another casualty of war)

Who is divided, what are the sides and why?

Anonymous said...

When Beckett was hired I said: "Can't wait for the horse sh-- and gunsmoke." Looks like it is happening.

Anonymous said...

It is sad that when you mention the City of Milton, the first thing that comes to mind is our political BS.

Anonymous said...

come on people now
smile on ya brother
everybody get together
love one another right now....

Anonymous said...

That must be Alan as the last poster?

Anonymous said...

It could have been me as the love your brother poster but it wasn't this time. But whoever said it, Thank You.

Anonymous said...

I drank the Koolaid but as of today I've become a Bull-emic.

Anonymous said...

Hi Yo Silver.

Anonymous said...

Well you certainly are embarrasing our city. Hope you are feeling like a big boy?

Anonymous said...

This blog is embarassing.

Anonymous said...

"Tart said he'd found the statements to be false, and wanted to know how Beckett was going to deal with it."

Ok Mr. Tart What did Billy say that was "false?"

Come on "Cowboy up" and let the citizens know the facts.

Anonymous said...

I don't agree with Tart but Julie is the real problem, Tart is only her follower. She threw him under the bus.

As long as Julie is on council, we might as well not even look for anyone else to work in Milton.

Anonymous said...

Recall appropriate now? If what you say is true.

Anonymous said...

Who ya gonna recall?

Anonymous said...

hell if we could recall- we would have gotten rid of the first jokers in those seats instead of waiting till last election.

Anonymous said...

The State of Georgia is a recall state. The relevant legislation requires at least one of the following grounds for calling a recall election:

1) an act of malfeasance or misconduct while in office,

2) violation of the oath of office,

3) failure to perform duties prescribed by law,

4) willfully misusing, converting, or misappropriating, without authority, public property or public funds entrusted to or associated with the elective office to which the official has been elected or appointed.

Signature Requirement:

The number of valid signatures required for a recall election is 15 percent of the number of persons that voted in the last preceding election for the office of incumbent being recalled

518 signatures for JZB and 510 signatures for Tart.

Anonymous said...

What's the matter, Billy? City business get in the way of your part-time job?

Anonymous said...

Before I finalize the recall petition let me make sure I have the correct spelling of names:

+Lockwood
+Lusk
+Thurman
+Hewitt

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Bill Bailey?

Anonymous said...

Last poster: You just revealed what side of the fence you sit on. Alan, Tina and Julie's perhaps?

I support them too but This is NOT about taking SIDES!

This is about finding out the facts about what happened in regards to Billy Beckett's decision to resign.

That's it.

P.

Anonymous said...

May have to hire Gumshoe as a consultant to get to the bottom of this fiasco!

Anonymous said...

Tart, who has no prior experience with local government, thinks he knows more about city government after 8 months as a council member than Beckett with years of professional experience. This is typical of the attitude he and his allies on council have taken since they first took office and is the height of arrogance. "Lack of respect" to someone who has not earned it, huh??

Anonymous said...

Recall JZB and Tart and watch to sun come out over Milton.

People will again have a voice(now no one is allowed to disagree) and a vote.

I dont care if everyone has different opinions on subjects such as sewer, the majority must rule. Its the American way.

The bullying must be stopped now!

Anonymous said...

I bet santi, hunter, ragsdale, jones, obrien, mohrig, lusk and thurman are feasting on this latest event.

Anonymous said...

oh I am sure but who cares- the damage and division started during their reign and it remains.

Anonymous said...

Whoa, whoa ,whoa, this crap started way before Milton was a city. We just made the mistake of electing a neighborhood activist "nut case" to City Council.

If she had her way, there would be no Birmingham Village, no Manor, no Crabapple Baptist Church, there would be a 5 acre min. lots size and she would take your land around any trickle of water so all streams would have a buffer/park connecting all over N. Fulton County.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, they use to fill up the North Fulton annex with the same agenda.

Now they don't have to drive as far to be morons!

Anonymous said...

Some common sense is applicable here.

Has anyone asked BB as to the true reason(s)for his resignation.

If there was a report that a group from Cherokee County had plans to invade your city tomorrow, would you try to confirm this or would you line up the troops today and start firing immediately?

Anonymous said...

Please read before posting,TART said he had a problem with Beckett!

Beckett just isn't going to stoop to their level.

Anonymous said...

So Tart had a problem with Beckett, your point? Tart did not fire him, now did he?

Have you ever held a job and if so, did you ever have a problem with a co-worker? Did you resign or try to resolve the problem?

If, in fact, Tart told Beckett he had a problem with him, it appears if Beckett was the problem solver most people believed him to be, would have tried to resolve the issue. Do we know if he did or did not make this effort, prior to resigning?

So I still say, ask Beckett, he was the one who quit.

Must be more democrats in your city than imagined....since so many are using Pelosi tactics.

Anonymous said...

A] Tart can not fire him.
B] Yes, I have had a job.
C[ Yes, I know Beckett tried to resolve the problem.
D] I have been told by more than one VERY reliable source, that "Some" city council members bombard staff with e-mails and Badger them to death.

Anyway you try to spin this, Tart needs to explain what happened.

I am not saying Tart was wrong, but his silence on the subject doesn't make him a candidate for "Profiles in Courage"

Let's face it, there IS a problem at City Hall that needs to be openly discussed and worked through if the city is going to make any progress .

Anonymous said...

Let the obvious speak for itself. You have a 35 year vetran running governments vs. an 8th month part time city council member, who has shown he is an activist, with no experience?

Anonymous said...

"He certainly had my and the majority of Council's support" Joe Lockwood

Paraphrased that means some of the council did not support Beckett.

Kindest regards,

Duh

Anonymous said...

Taken from the original post: "He said the tipping point was an exchange with Councilman Alan Tart Aug 23. Tart said the e-mail exchange involved several statements Beckett made to citizens regarding Milton's sewer policy. Tart said he'd found the statements to be false, and wanted to know how Beckett was going to deal with it. 'I was not going to take the fall to the citizens,' Tart said. Beckett wrote back saying he would resign if Tart's feelings were so strong."

Tart may not have used the best judgement it making the statements about the e-mails and could have left this to Beckett.

Beckett further stated there were many reasons for his stepping down, but mainly it was a culmination of a lack of ability to communicate with a restive minority on the City Council. He talks about the barrage of e-mails... I determined this was not a good fit. It had more to do with the chemistry with three of the council members ultimately. It was challenging that I did not have the resources to meet all the requests. He also talks about the lack of an assistant.

Any questions relative to the reasons given by Beckett should be answered by him.

If I were really concerned, which I am not, as to the reasons for his quitting, there would be many questions I'd ask him before I'd question anyone else.

It just could be the City armed him with a pocket knife to participate in a gunfight.

Anonymous said...

"I was not going to take the fall to the citizens," Tart said.

This statement alone show me Tart was more concerned with his political future than who was running the city.

Anonymous said...

He quits his job, insults his employer in newspapers, gets 30 days (or more) to stay on and gets to remain with pay and benefits? Sounds like a great job. Where do I fill out an application?

Anonymous said...

BINGO !!!

Anonymous said...

Hey, how could I get Commissioner Riley to pinch hit for me?

Anonymous said...

To today's 5:10 am poster:
My response is as follows:
(A) No one said Tart could fire him.
(B) Good for you. If you're no longer employed it might be good for the employer.
(C) Do you have first hand knowledge or is this what someone told you?
(D) Sometimes very reliable sources turn out to be just the opposite.

Beckett should be required to do so explaining.

Put Beckett's name in place where you have Tart's and do not make any further changes to that paragraph.

On this one thing I totally agree, there is a problem at City Hall.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Beckett had received advance info that Forsyth County Manager, Rhonda O'Connor's head is on the chopping block and that position may be open as early as next week.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me but Billy Beckett has no explaining to do to the citizens of Milton. The COUNCIL are the ones who were VOTED in to represent the citizens of Milton and they are accountable to their citizens who put them there or at least that was the plan. Did you vote? Are you happy with the work your council member has done? The COUNCIL hired Billy Beckett to work for them. Please go to the city web site and read the charter. How can you make excuses for anyone who calls someone a five year old in a news article??? Regardless of what transpired, name calling is such a childish thing, if I had voted for him, I would be asking for his resignation. It's down right embarassing. Is this how Milton wants to be known? Our council members call their City Manager names?? God help us all.

Anonymous said...

You're right, Beckett has nothing further to explain. He's embarrassed himself enough by losing his temper and blasting his employer in the press. Completely out of line for someone with his experience in government administration.

Anonymous said...

You are really reaching..."five year old", reference was made after the resignation. Further, you can ask for his resignation even though you didn't vote for him. Your tactic is commonly known as the "scattergun" approach.

Will not be posting any more tonight, have to listen to your next president make his speech from Denver.

Have a good evening and God bless.

PS
By the way, I did vote in city election and plan to vote in presidential election in November.

Anonymous said...

All of these comments referencing Billy Beckett's "employer"?

If you read the press you would think these posters are refereing to Alan tart? What a joke. The "employer" is our city and unfortunately a weakling like Tart can pitch a cry baby fit and cause all of this problem.

Anonymous said...

No, not our city, your city.

Anonymous said...

Good morning,

Duh here,

For the sake of discussion, let's say Tart is in the right and Beckett is a low down [whatever]

Given the obvious state of afairs at city hall, don't you think someone should make a statement besides Lockwood?

Since the controversy seems to be surrounding Tart. Shouldn't he come out and explain something.

The alternative is, this issue gets blogged to death with very little factual inforation coming from council.

I think I'll change my handle from "duh" to "mushroom."

Havagooday mate

Anonymous said...

....."Tart can pitch a cry baby fit and cause all of this problem."

How many people actually care about this so called "problem" ?

Did Alpharetta voters elect him or did Milton voters elect him?

Now, who really caused it?

Anonymous said...

I do not give a rats a$$ that Tart called Beckett a five year old. The guy asked him how he was going to correct his mistake. Becketts response was to quit.
Tart may have a point.
I have seen and read far worse out of councilmembers of milton.

Anonymous said...

BINGO

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that BB didnt necessarily make a mistake. Tart is mad because he responded to a citizen about sewer. But keep in mind this is because Tart stired up a bunch of crap by sending out misleadin emails.

Anonymous said...

Thank you to detective "know it all" for the above post.

Anonymous said...

Who's seen Tart's latest comments in The Beacon? Pathetic is all I can think of.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes we are so caught up in who's right and who's wrong that we forget what's right and wrong.

Anonymous said...

AMEN to the last poster.

Anonymous said...

Hey lets have some fun.


Anyone know the difference between tina and an escalade?

Even in Milton, there are some people who havent been in a cadillac.

Anonymous said...

don't get it

Anonymous said...

Me either.

Anonymous said...

All these blogs should be removed, they are nothing but adult "whining" to put it in a nice way. They offer nothing constructive or solution oriented, just a way for unhappy miserable people to vent their frustrations in cowardice. I bet if the people had to put their names on their comments, there wouldn't be any. Mr. Enloe, why don't you try an experiemnt and do the next article on politics or Milton sewer so that the people who want to comment are required to put their names on it, and let's see if you get 65 comments? Doubt it.

- Sarah, Milton HS Student

Anonymous said...

Good thinking.
Sarah, what is your last name?

-Bill, Milton Resident

Anonymous said...

Does Tina drive around in one of those Cadirack Escapades?

Anonymous said...

Tim, I think the blogs should stay the way they are. If people wanted to attatch their names they would.
Anonymous gives them the option to be heard without being targeted.

thank you.

Anonymous said...

Targeted?

You don't think JZB's Menopausal Miltonite fembots and their eunich emotionally battered spouses would lie, cheat and backstab any critics?

Yeah. They would.

Poor Bill and his brow beaten brethren.

Anonymous said...

With a wife like JZB, no wonder poor Bill just wants to drive a dog around all day long. At least Daisy dosent tell him what to do and how to think all day long!

Anonymous said...

Level the playing field. Identify yourself. Yes, please do, then your spouse and/or family members are fair game too!

Anonymous said...

Hi Julie,

You've been quite quiet for some time now.

Wonder why?

Anonymous said...

Wrong again!

Anonymous said...

Instead of attacking one another, how about if you just show up at a meeting once and a while and do something productive like VOICE YOUR OPINION WHERE IT MATTERS, like at City Hall.

Anonymous said...

yes just like the Julie puppets.

Anonymous said...

I made the comment that we should remain anonymous. I do not attack people on this blog I merely enjoy making some suggestions without being known.
When the decision was made to run for political office you knew that you would be open for attack in some way, shape or form. It happens to everyone in the public eye.