Seib Speaks on Jackson Firing

September 10, 2013

Toccoa City Commissioner Ron Seib responds to comments made in light of the city commission’s decision to fire Mike Jackson as city manager last week.

Seib made the comments at the outset of Monday’s Toccoa City Commission meeting, saying he felt obligated to respond because of the level of innuendo and untruth in the media last week.

He said he felt he owed the community a response to some of his fellow commissioners’ comments, as well as to the remarks made in the “Our View” section of the Toccoa Record on September 5.

First, Seib said it is unfortunate that comments made by two fellow city commissioners regarding Jackson’s termination appear to be politically motivated.

“At the beginning of our last called meeting, which was called in order to go into Executive Session to discuss a personnel issue, Mayor Austin attempted to immediately read a prepared statement regarding the city’s former city manager,” said Seib.  “For the previous five days since our prior meeting there had been no communication to myself or Commissioners Fry or Pavliscsak since that time.  This was after we were expecting to be updated the following day.”

He went on to say that there was a lot of information that could and should have been communicated so, Seib says fortunately, Vice-Mayor Andy Pavliscsak made a motion to enter executive session.

“Upon review and per our attorney’s recommendation, the entire commission agreed that the brief statement that Mayor Austin made announcing the Commission’s decision to terminate the city manager’s contract,” said Seib.  “Of course, thereafter, Mayor Austin and Commissioner Carter made separate statements that were contrary to what had previously been discussed and agreed upon.”

Seib went on to thank Commissioner Gail Fry for clarifying the unanimous support of the commission to make this decision.

In addition, Seib took issue with Jackson’s claims that he and Vice Mayor Andy Pavliscsak, two outgoing commissioners, led a campaign for his termination.

According to Seib, he and Pavliscsak told the other commissioners because of their short remaining time on the commission, they felt it would be more appropriate for them to take a back seat on this decision.

“Throughout the process, from Commissioner Carter’s decision to reach out and contact an outside city manager candidate so that the community and media would better accept a change, to the Mayor’s exact timing as to when and how he would hold each called Executive Session while providing no communication to the commission as a whole, to the Mayor and Commissioner Carter’s insistence on meeting with Mr. Jackson in private rather than through our attorney or commission as a whole, Commissioners Fry, Pavliscsak, and I simply followed their lead.”

Seib then went on to respond to a statement made in the “Our View” section of last week’s Toccoa Record that asked whether Billy Morse could live for more than three months with a city commission that still includes two members that helped drive him away four years ago.

He said that statement is not true.

“I would like to remind the community and the Toccoa Record that one of those commissioners was Mayor when he resigned and I literally begged him (Morse) to stay on board as city manager on three separate occasions at the time,” said Seib.

Seib also took issue with a micromanaging remark made in the “our view” section, stating that to his knowledge, no active commissioner spends less time at City Hall than he does, adding that he encouraged the writer of the comment to speak to people he had worked with over the years to see if they agree with that statement.

Seib concluded by stating that during his tenure as a city commissioner, he always tried to do the right thing and never tried to influence a management decision for personal gain.

He said he has been truly humbled to serve the community.

Following his remarks, Commissioner Fry again re-affirmed that the decision of the commission to fire Mike Jackson as City Manager was a unanimous one.

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