Local News

March 24, 2014

Varnell expected to approve new city manager tonight

The Varnell City Council meets at 7 tonight in City Hall. Council members are expected to vote on a new city manager.

The council named three finalists two weeks ago:

• Anthony Boatwright, a former U.S. Marine Corps staff sergeant with an extensive history in the private sector in health, safety and environmental management.

A resident of Cohutta, Boatwright’s work has taken him around the world. He most recently was health, safety, security and environment manager at ExxonMobil’s Point Thompson Project in North Slope, Alaska, and health, safety and environment supervisor for Fluor Arabia Limited in the Middle East. He has studied at Dalton State College and at Central Texas College and lists a number of military and professional training programs on his résumé.

• Mike Brown, operations manager for the Dalton Parks and Recreation Department. Brown, who is set to retire today after almost 40 years with the recreation department, most recently oversaw operations of the John Davis Recreation Center, the Mack Gaston Community Center and all of the city’s parks.

• Brent Richards, who has been a Varnell police officer since July 2013. Before that he was vice president of ServiceMaster Majestic Crew, a cleaning and restoration firm, in Cohutta for six years.

Council members began advertising for a new city manager in late January. The city did not advertise a salary, and council members have said that is something they would negotiate with the candidates. The previous city manager, Jason Hall, was paid $50,000 a year.

Hall stepped down in March 2013, more than two years after taking the position, after council members began looking into his use of city-issued credit cards. In January, newly elected council member Jan Pourquoi asked the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office to investigate any possible misuse of city credit cards by Hall. That investigation continues.

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