Augusta Commission extends city administrator’s contract

Augusta City Administrator Janice Allen Jackson gets another three years to lead city government following anAugusta Commission vote Tuesday .

 

After a lengthy closed-door session, the commission came out and took several votes including a 7-3 decision to extend Jackson’s contract for three years, ending Dec. 31, 2020.

Commissioners Marion Williams, Wayne Guilfoyle and Sean Frantom were opposed. Only Williams would comment on his “no” vote, saying “some things hadn’t gotten done this year that should have gotten done.”

Commissioner Mary Davis said Jackson’s contract deserved to be renewed, “with the complexity of the structure of our government and the amount of responsibility that Janice has.”

Davis added that the 10-member commission, to whom Jackson reports, “can do a better job of giving her more direction, goals and objectives for what we expect from her moving forward.”

Commissioner Ben Hasan, who moved for the extension, said developing goals for the administrator and “thresholds we’d like to see met” were part of the commission’s decision to extend the contract.

Commissioner Grady Smith said he spent about four hours a week with Jackson, during commission and committee meetings. “We haven’t done our job about laying out goals,” Smith said.

While Jackson’s contract calls for an annual review, the commission has only done so once, last year, when several commissioners rated her performance below-average in a handful of categories.

Jackson, an Augusta native, started work here in November 2014. She was previously a Mecklenberg County, N.C., general manager and an Albany, Ga., city manager.

At $173,400, Jackson is Augusta’s highest-paid employee. Her contract extension did not include a pay increase, Hasan said.

The extension comes in the midst of city budget discussions. The commission will resume a review of Jackson’s 2018 budget at a work session Wednesday.

Other matters decided by the commission Tuesday included:

- Hiring Assistant Engineering Director Hameed Malik as engineering director at a salary of $140,000. Malik replaces Abie Ladson, who resigned last month.

- Approving a lease with Augusta on Ice, which has an ice rink, ice slide and other holiday attractions set to open Friday at Augusta Common. The firm pays the city daily rental fees of $700 through Jan. 6 plus $400 in daily cleanup fees, with the city waiving the first $44,600 in rental fees.

-The commission took no action on Williams’ agenda item seeking information about why two commissioners and a city attorney participated in a Washington, Ga., EMS Council meeting without other commissioners’ knowledge. The item sparked a heated exchange between Williams and Commissioner Sammie Sias. Frantom said better communication was needed.

- The administrative services committee authorized renewing Daniel Field’s lease to longtime fixed-base operator Augusta Aviation for 20 years at an annual cost of $57,000 plus one percent of adjusted gross sales in excess of $2.5 million.

- The same committee deferred action on a set of construction and demolition projects that would relocate several city offices with a motion to prioritize a list of proposed changes.

Reach Susan McCord at (706) 823-3215 or susan.mccord@augustachronicle.com.

 

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