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Clarkston plans to settle with companies hired by former city manager without council approval

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Clarkston plans to settle with companies hired by former city manager without council approval

L to R Council member Susan Hood, Vice Mayor Debra Johnson, Mayor Beverly Burks, Council member Awet Eyasu, Council member Jamie Carroll, Council Laura Hopkins, Council member YT Bell. Photo by Sara Amis

Clarkston, GA — Clarkston City Attorney Stephen Quinn presented settlements with PivotPath LLC and Human Resource Dimensions to the city council at their work session on Sept. 26. In both cases, former city manager Shawanna Qawiy signed contracts without going through the proper process or seeking city council approval.

Qawiy also signed a contract with Prologic ITS LLC, which presented a quote for $19,423.24, signed by the former city manager, but no purchase order was issued and no products or services have been received. The city simply canceled that contract.

The city council voted to part ways with Qawiy in early August following weeks of controversy about officers leaving the city’s police department. While the city was fielding numerous records requests from the media pertaining to the drama at city hall, Finance Director Dan Defnall warned the council that staff had no information regarding contracts with PivotPath and Human Resources Dimensions.

Quinn said during Tuesday’s meeting that in each case the company has agreed that there is no contract, and will be paid for work they have already completed.

PivotPath will be paid $11,007.50 for public relations work that they have done for the city since June of this year.

In addition, Interim City Manager Tammi Sadler Jones said that PivotPath has presented an estimate for continuing services for the rest of the year, which is within the city manager’s spending authority. She said that she felt that it would be in the city’s best interests to continue to retain PivotPath’s services through the end of the year and then request bids for services beyond that.

Human Resource Dimensions will be paid $12,800 for a cultural assessment of city employees.

“Staff has judged that they performed as expected and that [the report] was useful,” Quinn said.

Both settlements will be placed on the consent agenda for the October city council meeting.

Council member Jamie Carroll suggested that the city send out a request for proposals in order to hire a firm that can conduct a national search for a new city manager.

“This is nothing against our interim city manager. I’ve had good interactions with her so far. I just think it’s the professional thing to do at this point,” Carroll said.

Council member Laura Hopkins asked about the existing contract with Sumpter Local Government Consulting, through which the current interim city manager was hired.

Quinn said that that is a separate matter and that the city can have contracts for both the interim manager and a search for a permanent city manager at the same time.

“I would not be the least bit surprised to find that Sumpter also does executive searches and that they would be interested in submitting a proposal,” Quinn said.

In other news, the city plans to dispose of a surplus Dodge Charger belonging to the police department. Chief of Police Christine Hudson said that it would be replaced, but not immediately.

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