POWDER SPRINGS — City council members will decide Monday whether to extend the contract of city manager Pam Conner.
Although Conner is not asking for a raise, the extension would be for four years, rather than the two that council members have offered in years past, and it would include a cost-of-living provision that would give her the same annual raises other city employees receive.
At a meeting Wednesday night, Mayor Al Thurman urged the council to approve the contract.
But Councilwoman Nancy Farmer said she was against extending the contract for more than one year. She said wanted to postpone the decision until after November’s city council elections.
She also called Conner’s $400 monthly travel stipend “excessive” and said she should not be compensated for declining city-sponsored health insurance since the perk is not available to other city employees.
Police Chief Tony Bailey said he was speaking on behalf of the directors when he said he supports giving Conner a four-year contract. The stability, he said, makes it easier to plan for the future and follow through on those plans.
Conner’s current contract expires Nov. 11.
At the meeting, council members also discussed the naming rights to an amphitheater in a $3.7 million park set to debut in spring 2020.
The city sought corporate sponsors for the amphitheater, but only one company made an offer, Conner said. Hardy Family Automotive Group has offered Powder Springs $47,500 over five years to name the event space the Hardy Family Automotive Group Amphitheater.
Its proposal stipulates that no advertisements from competing dealerships “shall be included in any advertisements or publications” there. Hardy will, in turn, promote all of the amphitheater’s events on all of its social media accounts. It is expected to host holiday events, concerts and movie nights.
Although Hardy was the only company to make the city an offer, Mayor Al Thurman wants city staff to negotiate more aggressively. Staff met with officials from the city of Woodstock, who said the corporate sponsor of their amphitheater paid $30,000 per year for a 10-year sponsorship.
Thurman suggested the city ask Hardy for fewer years or more money per year.
In other business:
— The council will hold its second reading Monday of an ordinance loosening restrictions on food trucks downtown.
— The council will likely end its contract with a company it hired to handle administration of business licensing duties. Three months after renewing the contract, Powder Springs “identified certain contract performance issues” and the company agreed to early termination of the contract, according to a resolution recognizing the termination of that contract, which council members will vote on Monday. Wednesday night, Conner told them the city was “frustrated with the timeliness of the service” and could better serve its businesses by handling licensing in-house.
— The council will also consider a $400,000 contract with East Coast Grading to improve downtown parking. New lots will be created at the intersections of Hotel Avenue and Lewis Road and Murray Avenue and Lewis Road. On-street parking will also be added to Jackson Way Extension. Money for the improvements will come from the 2016 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.