Councilman Daron Lee read the ordinance: “Whereas the mayor makes the following recommendations to the city council for changes in the city of Warner Robins Reclassification Plan, whereas the mayor and city council deem such recommendations beneficial, now, therefore, be it ordained that the city Classification Plan be amended as follows: Create the position of procurement manager, Grade 22, City Development Department, authorized strength of one.”
Lee recommended approval of the ordinance – this the second reading and this all occurring during the council’s regular meeting Monday.
Mayor Chuck Shaheen then asked what turned out to be a loaded question: “Is there a second for discussion?”
Seconds went by – seconds that felt like minutes as the air grew thick with the tension.
“Councilman (Mike) Brashear would you like to second just so we can have discussion,” the mayor asked.
“No sir,” was the response.
More silence – then eventually: “Well, let’s move on then.”
The ordinance had drawn fire during the last work session and regular meeting as well as during Monday’s work session prior to the regular meeting, but the look on the mayor’s face said he never thought it would play out like this (in silence). He did say at the end of the meeting – during the council’s “comments” portion: “Tomorrow I will have a job description for a ‘project manager’.” He had said during the work session that he was willing to work with the council on how best to make this happen, but now appeared determined to take matters into his own hands. Which Lee said later he was authorized to do – with certain restrictions.
Lee had argued the position was needed so that the city had a point of contact for projects. He said there were SPLOST projects on the books from 2001 that were still not finished and argued that nobody on the council even knew just how many projects there were out there. (To which none of the council argued with at the last meeting.) And, Lee, said new projects are coming on the books all the time.
Opposition to the ordinance ranged from there not being a definitive job description to spending the taxpayer’s money irresponsibly.
Councilman Mike Davis in turn on Monday argued that the city needed to hire a construction crew like the School System that he said would not only build the project but would also take care of being its contact base.
Lee’s counter was to ask Davis if he were building a house would he tell the contractor what he wanted and then just leave him to it. Davis in turn said if the contract were drawn up properly that wouldn’t be a concern.