City of Rome

Rome City Commissioners are slated to choose their mayor tonight — the board's chair, delegated to run meetings, sign documents and otherwise represent the city.

City Manager Sammy Rich also will be making his annual appointments of management staff and department heads at this first meeting of the year. No changes are expected.

The session starts at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall, 601 Broad St., following a 5 p.m. caucus. Both meetings are public.

Mayor Jamie Doss has held the gavel for five consecutive years. Commissioner Bill Collins was chosen as mayor pro tem — to handle duties in the absence of the mayor — for the first time in 2018.

While city commissioners all have equal power, the chair position was renamed "mayor" in 2002 to reflect the practice of other cities. Ronnie Wallace served as mayor for six years. His successors, Wright Bagby Jr. and Evie McNiece, served three years each.

Among the other items on the agenda is a resolution setting the qualifying fee to run for one of the six Rome City Commission seats that will be on the ballot in November.

Terms expire in December for the three Ward 1 commissioners — Milton Slack, Bill Irmscher and Sundai Stevenson — and the three Ward 3 commissioners, Collins, McNiece and Craig McDaniel.

Qualifying for the nonpartisan races will be Aug. 26 through 30 at City Hall. The fee is expected to be set at $252, which is 3 percent of a commissioner's $8,400 annual salary.

Also tonight, the board is expected to sign off on reviving the Rome Building Authority. The entity was established more than a decade ago but never constituted.

The Building Authority will act as a conduit allowing Rome City Schools to issue construction bonds backed by ELOST revenue. Officials want to get started on the estimated $16 million college and career academy but collections from the education local option sales tax don't start until April.

Creation of the entity must be through local legislation passed by the Georgia General Assembly. The city's delegates, Rep. Katie Dempsey and Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, plan to submit the bill after a two-week notice period.