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City attorney clarifies role of city manager
Guyton City Council

GUYTON — Mayor Jeff Lariscy achieved a rare feat by getting the frequently aimless Guyton City Council pointed in the same direction on an issue.

During a Nov. 12 council meeting, Lariscy requested and received clarification of the city manager’s role from Ray Smith, the city attorney. 

“Over the last little bit, there’s been some differences of opinion on how the city manager should manage employees of the city and how city council should interact with both,” the mayor said before making his request.

Lariscy told the council that he believes, according to the city charter and city personnel policy, “that the city manager should be the ‘go-between’ for all actions between myself and city employees, and the council and city employees as long was we have a city manager.”

“However, I think that’s not been the case,” he continued. “We’ve had some issues where city officials have been involved with city employees on a level that I don’t think the charter or personnel policy ascribe to.”

Smith agreed with Lariscy’s understanding of the city manager’s role.

“... I would say that your description would be a fair one, Mayor,” Smith said after reading a lengthy ordinance regarding the city manager position.

Lariscy replied, “So any interaction or information required by a council member, myself included, from an employee — I would go to (City Manager Daniel Hofman) and he would provide that back to me without me being involved. Correct?”

“I would say that is correct,” Smith said.

“I would like to set that as the understood standard moving forward — that if council needs anything from anyone in the city, that they approach the city manager to request that information and then remove themselves from the process,” Lariscy said. “Is council amenable to that? Does council have an issue with that?”

Steve Collins was the lone council member to respond, saying, “I think that’s great.”

“... I just want to have that on public record and if there is nothing further we can move on,” Lariscy said.

The mayor didn’t seek reelection and his term ends in December. He will be succeeded by Russell Deen, who defeated Michael Garvin, a former mayor, on Nov. 5.