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Monday, August 25, 2008

Tired Of Conflict, Milton City Manager Quits

Billy Beckett had been on the job five months

By DOUG NURSE / www.ajc.com

Monday, August 25, 2008

After five months on the job, Milton City Manager Billy Beckett threw in the towel Monday, saying he was tired of conflict. His resignation is effective Sept. 24. “I believe disagreement is healthy, but there’s no need to make it personal,” he said. “I’m not blaming anyone, but I wasn’t the right person for the job given the circumstances. It was just bad chemistry.”

The Milton City Council is embroiled in a contentious debate over whether to extend sewer in the city. Many residents believe sewer would bring density, which would ruin the semi-rural feel of the community. Others argue that some extension in some places is reasonable, and would help raise needed tax revenues.

Beckett was in the latter camp, which set him at odds with some council members. He said even though he had a majority on his side, it wasn’t worth it.“It’s a great city council, by and large,” said Beckett, a 30-year veteran of government administration. “There are some fundamental issues that are creating problems. Candidly, I think we were exhausting our resources and energy in a negative way.”

Beckett came with high expectations. A former Fayette County administrator and Riverdale city manager, he had a reputation as a straight-shooter and capable manager. He also is an NCAA and Arena Football referee. He said Monday he has no job prospects.

Milton has been riven with dissension since it’s inception Dec. 1, 2006. The November 2006 election re-arranged the alliances, but the split has remained.

Beckett was the third city manager the young city has had.The first resigned under pressure after the city council learned it had forfeited some tax revenue because of a missed filing deadline with the state. The second was Public Safety Director Chris Lagerbloom, who filled in for about eight months until the city found Beckett.

Mayor Joe Lockwood’s face showed his disappointment.“I can’t say I was too surprised,” Lockwood said. “It’s unfortunate. I felt the city was moving forward.”

Councilmember Alan Tart said he had had problems with Beckett giving him bad information and being unwilling to correct it. “He showed disrespect to the city council,” Tart said.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

” I promise to serve you with integrity and honesty and conduct myself in a manner that promotes teamwork, not divisiveness.”

October 2007
Alan Tart Press Release

Well so much for campaign B.S.

Anonymous said...

Who is to say that it is Tart creating the division?

Anonymous said...

Duh,

Councilmember Alan Tart said he had had problems with Beckett giving him bad information and being unwilling to correct it. “He showed disrespect to the city council,” Tart said.

If he said this he should be able to provide the citizens with specific facts.

Anonymous said...

Tart has hurt this city way more than you will ever know.

Anonymous said...

Your post below does not show that he is creator of the division.

"Councilmember Alan Tart said he had had problems with Beckett giving him bad information and being unwilling to correct it. “He showed disrespect to the city council,” Tart said."

To you: duh,

Again, who is to say that it is Tart creating the division?
I will be more specific so duh can understand.
How is Tart the sole participant in this division?

It takes more than one to create a divide.

To the first poster: All on council (now and in the previous) have tossed around campaign BS.

It sounds like you have a personal problem with this guy. Take it up with him and stop trying to lead everyone astray from the real issues at hand.

Anonymous said...

"It takes more than one to create a divide." I'll drink to that and guess who the other one is?

regards,

Duh

p.s.

"Your post below does not show that he is creator of the division."

Gee, I thought my post was above.

Anonymous said...

The 'Real issues" IMHO are we can't keep good people on the job.

Anonymous said...

look below my sentence. Recognize anything?

Now in reference to your "guess who the other one is"
i would guess it is more than one.

Anonymous said...

Councilmember Alan Tart said he had had problems with Beckett giving him bad information and being unwilling to correct it. “He showed disrespect to the city council,” Tart said.

If this is true Tart should immediately send out a press release stating his case.

We'll see if he's man enough.

Anonymous said...

None of this is good for Milton. I don't know whose fault it is. Could be Tart, could be other people. Either way, we are off to a very bad starts as a city. Maybe we need to start looking at ourselves and stop trying to blame others.

Anonymous said...

The problem is we don't have enough information. Tart was elected, it's his job to keep the public informed on important issues. Beckett quitting after only a few months is an important issue. He needs to tell the citizens the what happened between them.

I will start doing self examanation when/if that happens, not before.

I'm not pointing fingers, I am asking for information as a citizen.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Julie, you ran off another one and left Tart to take the blame. Good job.

Cheers to the sick, sick woman running our town.

Anonymous said...

If the majority was on his side, Beckett should have been the one to stay on the job.

What or who is stopping the majority rule in our city? Where is our democracy?

Anonymous said...

Time for MoM, aka Sheriff, to become acting city manager. Loser of presidential election then becomes permanent city manager. Do you want Obama or the republican running your city?

Anonymous said...

neither really.

Anonymous said...

this is what you all should do. go down to city hall and see the city clerk and request the public/open records of all conversations via email between the council and the city manager during the last few weeks. just like some of us did during the last election for campaign contribution disclosure reports which were very revealing. then review the documents and make an EDUCATED decision. also ask for the records between the attorney and council, if allowed. transparent government means ALL of them must be transparent. Also write the media and ask for an expose story on all of this. I don't want to be a sh*t disturber here but we need ALL of the facts. Julie herself teaches this so I'm sure she and Alan and anyone else who preaches transparent government understands the need to set the record straight. City hall Tel # is 678.242.2500

P.

Anonymous said...

Go get'em P

Whooooooooooooooooooo-ah

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Billy was tired of conflict alright --- the conflict of maintaining 2 jobs!

Anonymous said...

If Tart was half a man,[and/or half a representative of the citizens] HE'D tell the story insted of 'P" having to use the open records act to try to dig out the truth.

I do not know who is/was right/wrong. But Tart's silence on revealing the facts to his public is Thunderous.

Anonymous said...

"Yeah, Billy was tired of conflict alright --- the conflict of maintaining 2 jobs!"

Actually he was very up front from the get go and EVERY one knew AND agreed to his conditions of taking the job. This post is a rather pathetic, typical low blow to Beckett without factual back up.

Anonymous said...

Geez...I didn't know he had 2 jobs! The company where I work calls this a conflict of interest. I think the council was generous to allow this second job.

Anonymous said...

Or maybe a "hobby"? Sounds like if a couple of council members got the same, or a life, they would do a much better job!

Anonymous said...

They all have a second job....

Julie: a substitute teacher for Fulton County Schools

Tina: also a Substitute teacher for Fulton Schools, and had/has a marketing company, sports magazine

Alan: FDA job

Bill: Church builder

Karen: Not sure

Joe: Builder

Burt: Sales job

And your point is what about someone having two jobs???

BTW, it is against the law for a company to tell you that it is a conflict of interest to have two jobs.

And you know it.

Anonymous said...

The city manager is a full-time employee, not an elected official. You're confusing the issue.

And you know it.

Anonymous said...

That's what my husband said. But didn't that issue already come up. I remember reading about that when it took so long for Council and Beckett to come to a mutual agreement about his hiring. And when they did, they agreed to his terms. Unanimously. So then the issue of whether or not he has a second job is a non-issue.

You are creating "SPIN".
And you know that too.

Dontcha.

Anonymous said...

P,

Denny Crane is on the job. Good info.

Anonymous said...

Normally there are three sides in every employment seperation. However, in the present case, there could be a total of nine. Six council members, Mayor, Beckett's and the FACTS.

True reason for this separation will probably never be known.

Anonymous said...

My question is... if JZB is truly running the city..which she is...then can someone answer to the results so far? Not good...just google city of Milton and tell me how many positive news stories you find. BB was a good man and would have brought real change to Milton. He committed to do the job and that is that. He just recognized very quickly just how screwed up the city is and that he could not change JZB. She is a bully and thinks she represents the the whole of Milton. This is why community activists never make good council members. Good luck with your city.

Anonymous said...

Duh here,
Day 2, still not a peep from Tart, not one scap of factual information to the citizens of Milton,But interestingly we somehow rather magicly receive a year old article from another city presented to us as some kind of revelant information. This alone speaks volumes to me as to what kind of person[s] we have "running" Milton.

Anonymous said...

Does the word RECALL ring a bell?

Anonymous said...

Recall
Recall
Recall
Recall
Recall

Where/How can we contribute to this idea?

There have to be outstanding people out there to run our beautiful city. I believe EVERY citizen is ready for change at this point.

Anonymous said...

Here is the article where it was known and approved...


Milton manager gets $137K salary, referee time


By DOUG NURSE
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 04/24/08

The contract for Milton's newly hired city manager, Billy Preston Beckett, has the standard stuff. Including: a $137,000 salary, $600 car allowance, 12 months severance pay, a 401(k) plan.

Then there's a perk you don't see everyday: Beckett will be allowed to take vacation time during the Arena Football League season to travel as a referee.

"As long as he gets his city manager job done, I'm OK with it," said Mayor Joe Lockwood.

Eight months after its first city manager departed, the Milton City Council hired Beckett, former Riverdale city manager and longtime Fayette County administrator.

Beckett said in an earlier interview his priorities for now are pretty basic — get to know the city staff members; get up to speed for projects already in the pipeline, and familiarize himself with the contract with CH2M Hill-OMI, which was hired by the city to provide day-to-day services.

Becket served as Riverdale city manager from 2000-04, and as Fayette County administrator from 1985-2000.

Before coming to Georgia, Beckett worked in Raleigh County, W. Va.; Franklin County, Va.; and Collier County in southwest Florida.

Beckett, 59, holds a Master of Urban Affairs, Public Management from Virginia Tech, and has completed all work except the thesis for Master of Urban and Regional Planning.

Most recently, he was a city manager in Florida.

He also served in the U.S. Army from 1970-72.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with Beckett.

Now Julie's groupie cult members KNOW they made a mistake and should all be SPANKED.

Anonymous said...

Not just Julie, but her weiner shadow Alan.

Anonymous said...

Just found this site searching for more info on the City Manager deal. I saw that P. suggested requesting email records. I think this is a fantastic idea as it is apparent the true facts have yet to come to light.

I recall when some folks did this during the election there was some cost involved.

First - has anyone on this blog initiated the request? If not - any idea of the cost?

Anonymous said...

15 or 20 buckaroos.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if Mr. Beckett would have just bought a package of "Oscar Meyer's" and given them to Alan Tart to inspect before each meeting then there would have been no problems?

Anonymous said...

Access Milton: Do you think these types of comments are appropriate?