County Chairman Tim Lee said Monday that after reflecting on the matter over the weekend, he pulled the proposal from this morning’s meeting agenda.
“I got back into work this morning and started meeting with some of the finance guys and thought there was probably a better way to deal with that increase,” Lee said. “I don’t think it’s a good time to pass on additional costs to our constituency, so I am going to try to look at other ways of managing it.”
Cobb Water System director Steve McCullers had asked commissioners to raise county water rates by 3 percent and sewer rates by 1 percent effective Jan. 1. McCullers said the increase is needed because the county’s water wholesaler, the Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority, has increased the cost of water.
But Lee has come under pressure, first from southeast commissioner Bob Ott, then by northeast commissioner JoAnn Birrell, about the county’s practice of transferring $20 million from the water system to its general fund to help balance the budget. The rate increases wouldn’t be needed if that transfer didn’t take place, McCullers has said.
In other business, county manager David Hankerson is asking commissioners to hire two director-level positions at this morning’s meeting.
Hankerson recommends William Tommie Jr. be hired as the county’s new purchasing director, replacing Mark Kohntopp, who retired in July.
Tommie, formerly the director of construction procurement for the Pickens County School District in South Carolina, will receive a salary of $87,500.
There were 153 applicants for the job.
“We look forward to having William Tommie join our team,” Hankerson said. “He comes highly recommended and really impressed our evaluation team.”
The purchasing director manages the overall activities of the county’s purchasing department and functions as a liaison for vendors, upper management, and other departments regarding purchasing policies and procedures.
Hankerson has also recommended that Al Curtis, the county’s interim fleet manager, be promoted to the position permanently, raising his salary from $69,138 to $73,875.
There were 87 applicants to the job.
County spokesman Robert Quigley said the position is newly created as a result of a reorganization of the county’s purchasing department over the summer.
The fleet manager manages and supervises the operation of the county’s vehicles, runs the county’s repair shop, orders new vehicles and sells the old ones.
“Al Curtis has a proven track record in Cobb as a fleet manager,” Hankerson said. “His expertise will play a big role in safely and effectively serving the community.”