Clayton County commissioners reconsidering SPLOST manager position

JONESBORO — A position designed to clear out a backlog of unfinished special purpose local option sales tax-funded projects is back on the table a month after county commissioners rejected it.

The county commission conducted a first reading on an ordinance to create the unclassified manager of capital improvements position Tuesday. A second reading will be conducted next month before commissioners vote on whether to create the position.

The county has a backlog of at least five dozen unfinished SPLOST projects from taxes approved by voters in 2003 and 2009 and this position is envisioned as a way to clear out those projects. A new SPLOST is expected to go before voters next year.

“It is envisioned that the manager of capital improvements position will improve efficiency, project responsiveness and ultimately project delivery,” Chief Operating Officer Arrelle Anderson wrote in a Nov. 8 legislative request to commissioners.

If this sounds like déjà vu, that’s because the commission recently went down this road. It conducted a first reading on a similar ordinance last month, but the position was defeated Oct. 15 with Vice Chairman Michael Edmondson and Commissioners Sonna Singleton and Gail Hambrick voting against it.

Chairman Jeff Turner said some commissioners had questions about the project, but he believes Anderson has been able to address any concerns they had and make them feel comfortable about reconsidering it.

“I think the board saw the value in it,” Turner said.

In her legislative request, Anderson said the position’s salary would range between $80,000 and $100,000. Funding would be split between SPLOST funds and general fund finances, based upon time spent on SPLOST projects and time spent on other projects.

However, Anderson told commissioners the county could end up saving some money by having the position.

“There is a potential for cost savings associated in upcoming building projects included in the 2009 SPLOST program since some of the project management duties currently outsourced to a private contractor could be performed by this position,” she wrote in the legislative request.