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New City Manager Makes His Debut at Council Meeting

Julian Jackson's first day on the job was Oct. 1 and attended his first Peachtree Corners council meeting in his official capacity Tuesday.

Mayor Mike Mason was beaming as he struck the gavel to open the City Council meeting Tuesday night. It was a day he had long awaited for.

As of Oct. 1, Peachtree Corners has a city manager to handle the day to day operations of the city. Julian Jackson, whose first day was Monday, attended his first City Council meeting in his new capacity as City Manager.

"Tonight is a momentous night," said Mayor Mason in his opening remarks. "We welcome our new City Manager, Julian Jackson." Nodding to Jackson, Mason added, "I just want to say in front of everyone, 'you are in charge Julian.'"

In a traditional setting a City Manger handles the day to day operations of a city while the mayor and council are the policy makers, but up until now those duties had fallen mostly on the mayor. Mason said he was delighted to turn the reins over to the new City Manager.

Diana Wheeler, the city's Community Development Director made a short presentation to council. "Last week was a busy one," she said noting that the volume of calls and emails from citizens had picked up considerably. Wheeler also said that the paperwork for ordering the furniture for the new city hall had been finalized.

Now that the City Manger is on board, the hunt for a City Clerk will begin. Jackson said that the advertisement for a permanent City Clerk would be prepared and posted to the City's website and on the Georgia Municipal Association's website.

The City Council officially appointed William (Bill) Riley as the attorney for the city, he had been the city's Acting Attorney. And Council also approved back payments to Mr. Riley for the months of May, June, July and August. The attorney had agreed to wait for payment until the city had operating funds.

City Council discussed adopting rules and procedures for council meetings and public hearings.

Council member Alex Wright said he has had a number of citizens ask him why the City Council and Mayor were not permitted to answer questions during the Public Comment portion of a City Council meeting and posed the question to the city attorney. "Why can't we respond during the Public Comments, is this for legal reasons or is it because it makes the meetings run smoother."

Riley said both were factors in not responding. There are "legal reasons why you don't want to respond to public comment," said Riley who said the best practice was to listen and get back with the citizen after gathering more information so a correct response could be made.

Two Request for Proposals (RFPs) were discussed, one for Development Services was tabled until the next council meeting, and one for IT Services is expected to be posted on the City's website within the next few days.

All council members were present, there were no public comments, the meeting adjourned around 8:30 p.m. with only a handful of people in attendance.

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