Rincon City Council may look for help as it considers whether to revise its ordinances and the job descriptions for city employees.
Council member Frank Owens expressed his concerns about how effectively written the job descriptions and city ordinances are.
“Some of them are several years behind and out of date,” he said. “Some of them are lame and wide open. If somebody was to do something wrong, you can’t do nothing to them. All you can do is talk to them.”
Council member Scott Morgan said he contacted the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government two years ago. The CVIOG will re-write every job description for every city employee, he said, but the cost was going to be $8,000.
“And that was before we took over the golf course,” he said.
Morgan said they tried to do some of the job description re-writes in house.
“In today’s market, they might be a lot, lot cheaper,” he said. “But I’m afraid it might be outrageous.”
Council member Levi Scott said analyzing jobs is a simple process.
“But when we start looking at ordinances, how far back do we need to go?” he asked.
Council member Paul Wendelken said new job descriptions were written about three and a half years ago. He said the city’s recent adoption of a growth management code may address some concerns with the ordinances on the books.
“We definitely need a periodic review,” he said. “This could be a tremendous undertaking if we go through every ordinance we have and bring it up to today’s standards.”
Mayor Ken Lee said going through the ordinances would be complicated.
“It’s a changing thing,” he said. “You could change an ordinance and say we need to change it the next year. To go through all our ordinances is quite cumbersome.”
Owens’ concerns were spurred by the recent problems over how a city ordinance was interpreted.
“It’s a mess of an ordinance and four or five different people read it and came up with four or five different meanings,” he said. “It’s not a well-written document, in my opinion.
“Nowadays, the intent don’t mean nothing. You’ve got to spell it out. We’ve gotten in trouble several times since I’ve been back.”
City Manager Mike Phillips said the city could work with the Georgia Municipal Association or the Georgia City-County Management Association to review ordinances and job descriptions.
“I think the job descriptions should be in our hands,” Lee said. “The GMA should be able to provide us with a pretty standard job description and we should be able to lay those side by side with ours and make any adjustments. Sometimes you can be too open, and sometimes you can be too specific.”