Part-Time Jobs or More?

PTC Guy's picture

Are the jobs of Mayor and Council member more than part-time jobs in fact?

Should they be paid more?

This is not a new question. And my concern is that just maybe this issue is in fact keeping PTC from getting many good people from running?

As it is now it appears that unless you are retired, in a well of job that allows you to take time to do these jobs or well backed somehow doing these jobs just may be out of the question.

So, take a look at this historical link from for August 2, 2001 and then let me know your opinions.

And please, I have absolutely zero interest in this become a Brown versus Logsdon issue in any way.

Ordinance No. 765 Salaries and Reimbursement of Expenses of Councilmembers and Mayor –

Lindsey told Council that this ordinance codified the salaries for Mayor and Councilmembers and that it entitled them to reimbursement for expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.

Lenox commented that he had done a statewide survey on the issue of cities of similar size and he would send a copy to Council. He felt the salaries ought to be increased from $9,000 to $12,000 for the mayor and $6,000 to $9,000 for Councilmembers. He said the salaries had been at that level for years and the job now took considerably more time and was more demanding. Lenox said he felt it was a good time to raise the issue since he would not be affected.

Fritz agreed. She said the discrepancies in salaries from city to city were amazing. She said that in some cities elected officials that were part-time receive retirement and healthcare benefits. Senoia recently raised their mayor’s salary to $12,000. She pointed out the job was much more demanding than just part-time. She added it might be an incentive for Councilmembers to participate more.

Lenox added that no one on Council really turned in expense accounts. Money was spent out of pocket and the salaries were pretty nominal, he said.

Lindsey pointed out that a state law governed elected officials giving themselves raises and it wouldn’t take effect until January. He said Council could do it so none of the current members received raises. The effective date could be staggered relative to terms, but then there would be some Councilmembers doing the same job and not getting the same pay, Lindsey explained.

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Submitted by Reality Bytes on Sun, 12/04/2005 - 11:37pm.

moved - Doh

Submitted by Reality Bytes on Sun, 12/04/2005 - 10:58pm.

I might have a hypothesis as to why the Mayor (and Council) positions cannot be full-time positions.

Peachtree City's median income is about $35-$40K per year. But that's the median.

Let's say I live in Southern Shore and make $75-$80K per year (I'm rather successful to live there, I would guess). The salary for the Mayor's position, let's say, is $45,000 per year. I'm cutting my salary by nearly half and losing four years in my career.

What we would create is a culture of professional politicians. What else would they do, other than consulting work in the government sector?

Not an attractive proposal to make me want to run for office. If we pay them more than $45,000 per year, we might as well do away with the City Manager position and become a Strong Mayor form of government. But still, what a pay cut.

At the end of the day, what most of us use as our most guiding principle documents are our Bible and our paycheck. It's sad, but true.

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Submitted by PTC Guy on Sun, 12/04/2005 - 11:30pm.

Actually the median is $78,000.00 as of last week. I believe that was the figure. But it was $70 something.

My issue is if the jobs cannot be done on a PT basis then lets just get off the three legged stool and take a stand. But if it can then so be it.

Right now the only people that can afford to do the job are the independently wealthy and those who can use the job to get outside money.

There are a lot of good people out there who would make marvelous leaders but just don't have the bucks to live on.

We are cutting out a huge section of population and saying money = ability.

I agree it is not to our benefit to put on an attractive salary that attract people for the wrong reasons.

But say the salaries were 15 or 20 for Council Members and 20 or 25 for the Mayor. Would that attract the wrong kind? Would that allow some who otherwise could not to run?

Would it be so bad to have these people in the building or around 40 hours a week and available for citizens to come in and discuss things? Attend HOA meetings and such to actually learn the little things that need done?

I love animals but right now try to get rid of a neighbor's animal problem, in example.

There are other things that need eyes on to understand. Maybe those ordinances could get fixed if these folk were out there in their capacities talking.

Not talking about doing the City Manager or any other such job.

But it is so frustrating to try to get something done on an HOA level to just run into lack of proper understanding or authorization by the city to get the little things done.

Not talking stormwater here. I am talking truly the little everyday fixable issues that are not getting fixed.

OK. I have vented.

Submitted by Reality Bytes on Sun, 12/04/2005 - 11:39pm.

Thanks for correcting me on the median income, but that's household income and I was going per capita. In any event, not that big of a point of contention for me.

It sounds like you either have a public works or code enforcement issue. If it's animals, though, I think that's covered by the County primarily, unless the City has an ordinance specifically over it.

Not knowing your situation, I'm sorry that you're not getting the help you need. I assume you've brought it up to the City Manager, as it looks like staff isn't doing what you think they should do.

And one of the things I DO like about Brown is he has come to some HOA meetings. The level of accessibility does need to be increased there. I think beyond the next two days, either candidate will actually get a little more accessible. Right now they're both under heavy microscopes.

Maybe instead of citywide posts, Council members should be elected based on where they live - that way you'd have a little better representation? Maybe a councilmember per village, one at large and the mayor? That would increase the council to 7 from 5, but maybe THAT'S something to consider too.

Submitted by dkinser on Mon, 12/05/2005 - 10:29am.

I hope that we do not change the way Councilmembers are elected. Right now I get a say in the entire council. Your way, I don't. I moved from Clayton County where the County Commissioner's are chosen by districts and you end up with each fighting for their district and not the whole of the system.

Fights about where the next park or recreational field goes, road resurfacing, etc. This increases the number of fights on the council, not decreasing them.

Under the current scheme, all council members are held accountable by the entire city. I like it that way, and I hope it stays that way.

Dana Kinser

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Submitted by PTC Guy on Mon, 12/05/2005 - 10:19am.

Makes sense on the income, household and per capita.

No. In PTC animal problems belonging to neighbors and such fall under Code Enforcement. But the ordinances and such as of now do not give them the tools to deal with it.

Don't get me wrong. We have a great bunch in Code Enforcement. They tried. Just lack authority.

The only time I have had to turn to the county was when the issue was deemed Environmental Health. But even there their codes were not up to the job.

Got it all done. But it was not easy.

Cats, they are the worse. People letting their cats run free.

Brown being accessible is good. Lenox was hard.

I agree Council should be elected by area. I don't know if going to 7 is good or not. Would have to think about that.

Submitted by tripp on Wed, 11/30/2005 - 7:24pm.

Just my $0.02.

With the appropriate limits on authority, the mayor and council shouldn't need to be engaged full-time.

  • Let the mayor serve as the executive--setting priorities as a representative of the citizenry and working with public and private sector leaders to see them fulfilled. That's the leadership job.
  • Let the council serve to craft, debate, and rule on policy decisions, subject to mayoral veto.
  • Let the judiciary rule on challenges to established policy.
  • Let the staff serve to support the mayor and council and to run the city according to the ordinances and policies established by the mayor and council.

Few highly-paid, full-time professionals should be required to oversee operations for a city of our size. Perhaps ONE city manager and a staff of 6-8 department heads (finance, public works, recreation, administrative, court operations, etc.), as well as chiefs of police and fire emergency services reporting to the mayor.

I would not be opposed to increasing the remuneration for mayor and council members to a competitive level with municipalities of similar size and socioeconomic status. I would prefer that part of the compensation for these elected position be variable, depending upon the public's level of satisfaction with fiduciary performance and public services. Manage costs, keep the lights on, and deliver good customer service.

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Submitted by PTC Guy on Wed, 11/30/2005 - 8:08pm.

I agree in theory. And on the pay raises.

So Lenox and his were also overstepping?

Just curious how far back it was that the overstepping started.

If over stepping it needs fixed. If not then we have a new ball game.

Not trying to be tricky here. Just trying to resolve this issue in my own mind.

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Submitted by birdman on Wed, 11/30/2005 - 8:30pm.

Not sure about Lenox overstepping. I know whenever I dealt with an issue then I dealt with the City Manager. I never dealt with the mayor. Now mind you this wasn't frequent, but it was who I felt I should deal with.
That said, there is no denying that Lenox had a certain amount of arrogance in him. However it seemed that he let the city staff run the operation and the council acted as overseers. Again, Brown dabbles in all day to day operations and doesn't let staff do their jobs.

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Submitted by PTC Guy on Wed, 11/30/2005 - 8:47pm.

Due to one role I play I have had a number of contacts with the city over a few years.

Always been with the proper department and proper person.

Even with the Brown tour the nuts and bolts were with someone else in the correct role.

Agree on Lenox.

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Submitted by PTC Guy on Tue, 11/29/2005 - 9:04am.

I might be wrong but this seems to be a nexus point for a lot of issues, including just what PTC government should be.

Maybe PTC has outgrown the part time mayor status? Or has it?

Really would like others opinions on this one. I somehow feel I may be lacking some element when looking at this issue.

I won't ask again if no replies.

Submitted by McDonoughDawg on Wed, 11/30/2005 - 1:25pm.

I think you make good points. How do other Cities the size and scope of ours handle their Mayor and Council? re: pay & benefits. I feel that $9,000.00 for the job of Mayor is too low for PTC, but I haven't researched the matter, and I could be wrong. I moved here from Henry County in the Summer of 04, and I'll say this, the involvement of citizens here is 2nd to none. Folks here just flat out seem to care more about their City and what's going on. This in turn puts more demands on Mayor and the Council, just because of increased communication alone. If forced to choose, I think money is better spent on having a Professional City Manager in charge of day to day operations than an overpaid Mayor who thinks he is King of PTC.

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Submitted by PTC Guy on Wed, 11/30/2005 - 3:21pm.

Research data is hard to find. I have tried a lot of search combinations but come up empty.

The limited I have seen shows smaller town paying at least what is paid here. Many more.

Probably really need to know exactly where the division line between the different departments of PTC are and the elected officials. Then hours spent.

As in who gets contacted for what when by whom.

birdman's picture
Submitted by birdman on Wed, 11/30/2005 - 4:19pm.

I think what needs to be considered is that we have a very qualified and highly paid City Staff. The city should run quite well under the guidance of the City Manager. He is the professional and also the constant in city administration. The Mayor and Council are designed to be overseers, not day to day managers. The same organization as is used at the school board level. The Superintendant and his staff are the professionals and the Board are the overseers. Problem we have is that Brown made the mayor's job fulltime and has taken the day to day running of the city out of the hands of the professionals. We need to put it back where it belongs. The City Manager and his staff are very capable and would do a terrific job if the mayor would only accept the role as it is designed.

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Submitted by PTC Guy on Wed, 11/30/2005 - 4:43pm.

Not interested here in Brown versus Logsdon.

As I showed in my initial post this was an issue back under Lenox and that Council.

Staff does not formulate policy. Staff does not meet with constituents about new programs, jobs and such.

Doing their elected jobs, is it more than a part time job, regardless of who is in office?

Lenox and that Council said it was and that was prior to Brown.

I can tell you there are some issues in the City that are not running quite well and never have in the areas of animal control, illegal rentals and street parking.

Code Enforcement and such are not empowered to do anything until Council changes those issues.

So, no. The City cannot run quite well just under the Staff. The Staff must be empowered and adequately by defined by the Council.

Thus the question.

nuk's picture
Submitted by nuk on Fri, 12/02/2005 - 4:22pm.

After you mentioned it a few times:)

OK, let's just say we're not talking Brown violating the current charter and just in terms of generic Mayor and generic Council and whoever on city staff.

I think part-time still is sufficient. PTC is reaching build-out and it's not going to go to 80,000 people LIKE WAS ORIGINALLY PLANNED UNTIL THE PRO-DEVELOPMENT CROWD REDUCED IT:) I don't think the City lacks sufficient "leadership" The vision thang George Bush 1 talked about is handled by Mayor and Council as it should be. Voters vote for the ideas and then it is implemented by the city staff. God help us if the voters decided who would be City Manager.

You have an organized structure with City staff that is clearly defined. Why the City spent a lot of money even to hire some no-name consultants from North Carolina a few years ago to make sure the structure, job titles, salaries and all were sound. OK, that's some sarcasm as that whole consultation was seriously flawed and skewed and needs to be thrown-out immediately, but the theory of having the proper structure for city staff to operate from within is sound. Just don't set it up to benefit some who are totally undeserving, "punish" those not in favor of management(FIRE DEPARTMENT ANYONE?), and rig the process.

I think tackling the issue of the charter and city staff is something that needs to be reviewed every few years to ensure that the structure is the best that it can be. Because the legislature and Gov have to approve any changes to the charter, this safeguards against a lynch-mob mentality where people throw everything out in a spaz and screw everything up.


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Submitted by PTC Guy on Fri, 12/02/2005 - 4:47pm.

I agree it needs reviews periodically.

You feel part-time is enough and I am not sure if it is or isn't.

Can we both agree a review is needed to lay this question to rest for awhile at least?

If the Mayor and Council Members cannot meet their duties in a part-time frame additional recognitions and salary would do nothing to harm the Council/City Manager System.

We need to be fair to those we entrust our governance to. Else we will only get those in a financial position and so on to be able afford to pretty much donate their time.

nuk's picture
Submitted by nuk on Fri, 12/02/2005 - 11:08pm.

Every 4 years or so it needs to be examined. That doesn't mean anything needs to be changed as much as it gives all elected officials an education of the structure of PTC government. Circumstances may change that require changes.

Most cities started out tiny and had a Mayor who also was city manager, city clerk, finance, police, everything:) Then the city grows and no one person can do it all. I don't see PTC changing dramatically, but who knows? What happens with the Westside could be a significant change.


birdman's picture
Submitted by birdman on Wed, 11/30/2005 - 6:19pm.

You're right, Staff must be empowered and adequately defined by Council. In fact that is actually one of my major gripes about Brown. He doesn't empower or define staff, he simply dictates. He purged nearly the entire staff and replaced them. Imagine their fear if they are to cross him. I doubt that any previous staff members worried about their jobs like the current ones must. In the past they were always respected by all who dealt with them (still are by the way). But now they fear the purge. Talk about NOT empowering.

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Submitted by PTC Guy on Wed, 11/30/2005 - 6:29pm.

I was digging deeper than that but will not deny it such is a concern. But unfortunately common to governments.

I was pointing to such as animal control.

Did you know that to get rid of a problem animal of a neighbor your word, even supported by neighbors or pictures is not enough to remove it?

It has to be seen by the singular person in PTC authorized to remove it.

That is but one example of what I am pointing to.

So, how much contact and such does it require from the Mayor and Council to get all these "little" things done?

But to get it all fixed it takes the Council.

These "little" everyday issues cannot be addressed by Staff.

Thus the little things never get addressed by a supposed part-time government.

birdman's picture
Submitted by birdman on Wed, 11/30/2005 - 8:18pm.

It seems that this is an issue best taken up with the new council. It seems we are talking a major reorganization. It is certainly worthy of discussion and investigation, but I don't think we have been better off for Brown's micromanaging style. If we want a fulltime mayor we need to investigate the need and change the charter. And I want an opportunity to vote on it. I want it to be a referendum. But keep in mind, except for Brown, there are few out there who would quit their job for a four year job here. That would be too great a sacrifice.

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Submitted by PTC Guy on Wed, 11/30/2005 - 8:30pm.

If you had resisted putting the Brown stuff in on a topic not about Brown or Logsdon that would have been a great post.

Honestly, though. I think the time has arrived to at least look into it.

birdman's picture
Submitted by birdman on Wed, 11/30/2005 - 8:48pm.

Come on, it was a "great" post. All my posts are "great" Smiling Just kidding. I agree it may be time to set up a committee to investigate the level of involvement of our elected officials. My guess though is that most communities this size stay with the fulltime staff and part time elected positions.

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Submitted by PTC Guy on Wed, 11/30/2005 - 9:00pm.

I feel woozy. I agree with you but not sure how many stay part-time and how many do not.

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