City Manager contract
Members of the City Council gathered last Friday afternoon to discuss terms for hiring Rochelle Small–Toney as City Manager. Fresh off their appearance in the St. Patrick’s Day parade, and with festivities still ongoing along River Street, the meeting started late, as some members had difficulty finding parking spots.
The mayor then requested that discussions take place in executive session, on the grounds that discussion would deal with compensation. More than an hour and a half later, the nine members emerged with a tentative compensation package for Small-Toney.
Their offer is for her to remain at her current salary of $190,575 plus benefits that would include a monthly car allowance of $535 (the same that Michael Brown had), payment of dues and fees for relevant professional organizations, 15 vacation days and a six month severance.
The package was approved by a unanimous vote. Council’s intent was to give it to Small-Toney, who would either accept, or make a counter offer. The expectation is that she will be formally given the position at Thursday’s regularly scheduled council meeting.
The state’s adjusted unemployment rate took a small step in the right direction last month. February’s unemployment rate was 10.2 percent, a slight improvement over January’s 10.3 percent unemployed in Georgia.
February marks the 41st consecutive month that the state has had a higher unemployment rate than the nation, which is currently down to 8.9 percent, according to the state’s Department of Labor.
“Job creation is the most important aspect of an economic recovery, and the slight increase in jobs in February gives me reason for cautious optimism,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler in a prepared statement. “Also, I’m encouraged that we continue to see a reduction in the number of new layoffs. However, the growing number of long term unemployed is troubling.”
There were 263,200 long term unemployed Georgians in February (those out of work more than 27 weeks), an increase of more than 72,000 since February 2010. Long term unemployed represent an unprecedented 55.1 percent of the 478,000 unemployed Georgians.
Census Data for Georgia
The results of the 2010 Census were released for Georgia late last week, and Savannah grew by about 3.6 percent to 136,286 making it the fourth largest city in the state, behind Atlanta, Augusta and Columbus. Athens–Clarke, which is the fifth largest incorporated area, had the highest rate of population growth in the state at 15 percent, bringing it to 116,714.
Chatham County has seen significant population growth over the past 10 years, growing 14.3 percent to 265,128. It is the fifth most populous county in the state behind Fulton, Gwinnett, DeKalb and Cobb.
Despite seemingly positive growth in the area, the data will mean that redistricting of legislative districts will favor Atlanta and northern Georgia over the coast. However, at this time, it’s still not clear what exact effects of redistricting will be.