Local News

March 25, 2014

Brown named city manager of Varnell

VARNELL — Mike Brown stepped down as operations manager for the Dalton Parks and Recreation Department after almost 40 years with that agency on Tuesday. Today, he starts a new job with a new city.

Varnell City Council members unanimously voted Brown as that city’s new manager Tuesday night.

“I’m really excited,” Brown said. “I’m looking forward to the challenge, and I hope I can make a positive impact on the city.”

Brown was named one of three finalists by the council two weeks ago, after they narrowed down their choices from dozens of applications from across the country. The other finalists were Anthony Boatwright of Cohutta, who has worked in the private sector in health, safety and environmental management, and Brent Richards, who has been a Varnell police officer since July 2013.

“We had a lot of qualified people respond, a lot of resumes,” said council member Allan Pippin. “We looked at those resumes again and again. We narrowed it down, and narrowed it down again. And at the end, we thought he (Brown) was the best candidate based on his experience in city management and his knowledge of this area.”

As operations manager for the Dalton recreation department, Brown oversaw the John Davis Recreation Center, the Mack Gaston Community Center and all of the city’s parks. Council members said Varnell’s gym, ball fields and other recreation facilities are important to the city and they hope Brown’s experience can help them grow their recreation programs.

“He seems like a very good fit,” said council member Sheldon Fowler. “We are always going to be a bedroom community, so it’s very important to have the sort of things that can improve the quality of life for our residents.”

Brown said his first priorities today will probably be touring all of the city’s various facilities and meeting any employees he doesn’t already know.

Council members said Brown will receive an annual salary of about $35,000 plus a $250-a-month allowance for insurance.

The most recent 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 is ongoing.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Green spot closing 1 mlh.jpg A part of the family

    Larry Green can’t remember the exact date. But he says it was about 54 years ago when his father Marvin took him to see the new store he and his brother Herman had commissioned Red Jennings to build at 309 W. Emery St. in Dalton.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • New high school?

    The only means for “staying small” and preserving “The Dalton Way” in Dalton Public Schools may be through expansion, Superintendent Jim Hawkins said Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014

  • Bond denied for man arrested in synthetic marijuana bust

    A Dalton business owner charged in a synthetic marijuana bust was denied bond Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014

  • Longtime Dalton business Green Spot to close

    Larry Green says he made the decision more than a year ago.

    July 29, 2014

  • Kiwanis Club3.jpg Kiwanians get a lesson in money and banking

    Money.
    It makes it easier for us to buy and sell goods and services. It is the measure by which we judge the relative value of those goods and services, and it allows us to “store value,” by placing it away and using it when we need it.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff: Inmates don’t ask to vote

    In his 21 years of service, Whitfield County Sheriff Scott Chitwood said inmates have never asked for the opportunity to vote.

    July 28, 2014

  • Little library 1 mlh.jpg Little Libraries, big goal

    Whitfield County just received a new library.
    And better yet, 26 more are on the way to the region.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Picture 3.jpg Rock solid

    A great number of things have come and gone since 1974.
    One that hasn’t: a small Dalton school founded by parents wanting a unique learning environment for their children.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vann House Day '14 6 mlh.jpg History comes alive at Vann House

    SPRING PLACE — In the early 1800s, the 1,000-acre plantation belonging to Cherokee Indian leader James Vann was a bustling place.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • Local officials agree with Deal

    Regarding news last week that approximately 30 unaccompanied minors from Central America, who had crossed the southern border into the United States, were sent without warning to Dalton last year and enrolled in Dalton Public Schools, Republican politicians representing portions of Murray and Whitfield Counties agree — state and local school officials deserved to know in advance, they say.

    July 26, 2014