WARNER ROBINS -- The citys purchasing agent position will be officially opened Tuesday, Mayor Chuck Shaheen said Monday after the City Council declined to create a position that would have separated some duties from the purchasing agent.
For the third consecutive meeting, Shaheen and Councilman Daron Lee failed to convince the rest of the council to back a new project manager position. The new job would have taken away oversight responsibilities that were handled by the former purchasing director.
Shaheen said the new position will have a pay grade of 21, at which the salary ranges from $43,000 to $64,500. Mark Baker, who retired from the position in July after more than 20 years, made $71,155 a year.
Shaheen and Lee have lobbied for a new projects manager position as a way to ensure the city is making progress on all its projects.
Baker accrued oversight duties in his time as purchasing director. Shaheen and Lee argued it wasnt the best arrangement then, and it wouldnt be fair to put the duties on someone who wont earn as much money as Baker.
Weve got to find someone thats going to the point of contact for all these projects, Shaheen said. They want the mayor to do everything, just like they wanted me to the do the media specialist stuff, which was given to a current city employee last month.
Council members, except Lee, have said projects can be overseen by current city staff, the Redevelopment Agency and project managers hired with contractors on the projects.
There was little discussion during the precouncil session Monday. Lee spiritedly spoke in favor of the position, Shaheen sprinkled in some comments, and the other council members mostly listened.
Lee said most unfinished city projects are in his district, in the older northern area of the city. Some are projects listed in the 2001 and 2006 special purpose local option sales tax projects lists.
Its not affecting them, so its not a concern, Lee said as Shaheen closed the precouncil discussion.
At the regular council meeting that followed, Shaheen moved to the next agenda item after an awkward silence during which council members declined to second Lees motion to approve. Shaheen said after the meeting, the item was killed.
To contact writer Christina M. Wright, call 256-9685.