Friday, February 13, 2004

Brooks leaving DAPC with suit resolution near


Robert Brooks will resign from the Development Authority of Peachtree City effective Tuesday.

In a letter to City Manager Bernie McMullen, Brooks, a Peachtree City dentist, said one reason he’s stepping down is the apparent resolution of the equal pay lawsuit against the DAPC that was filed by former amphitheater director Kristi Rapson. A federal magistrate has recommended the suit be dismissed in the authority’s favor.

Brooks will attend his final DAPC meeting Monday night, along with the other two remaining board members, Scott Formel and Bill Bexley. The only significant item of business on the agenda is a discussion of the Rapson lawsuit.

According to McMullen, interviews to fill four earlier vacancies on the DAPC Board, as well as the one to replace Brooks, have been completed. Recommendations on new appointees will be made at next Thursday’s meeting of the City Council, which must approve the nominees, meaning all seven board seats could be filled within the week.

In his resignation letter, Brooks also attributed his resignation to the dispute with elected officials over how the authority ran the amphitheater and tennis center, which are now being managed by the Peachtree City Tourism Association.

“Typically volunteer positions are an endeavor that an individual would like to have fun with, or certainly gain a sense of satisfaction from shared community accomplishments,” Brooks wrote. “Sadly, with the rancor at City Hall this past year, volunteering has been anything but fun.”

Brooks joined the authority after resigning from the City Council in February 2001 because he had an interest in helping the city with economic development.

Ironically, the city council later appointed Steve Rapson to fill the remainder of Brooks’ term, and Rapson’s wife Kristi sued the authority in federal court in February 2002 alleging she was unfairly paid as amphitheater director compared to then-tennis center director Virgil Christian.

Current Mayor Steve Brown was also one of the 14 candidates to seek appointment to Brooks’ council seat, but he withdrew his name from consideration before council held a meeting to interview applicants. Soon after, Brown announced he would run for mayor.

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