the next City Manager is…..
Rumors have been circulating for several weeks that
2 candidates were vying for the City Manager’s position. The 2 names that were being heard were Roger
Harrison (current City grant writer) and Bob James (Economic Development member
that recently ran for the District 2 Commissioner position).
Rumors have it that neither of these gentlemen were
chosen but rather Frank Sherrill, the long time
JCWSA engineer who has recently tried to convince the City to
partner with JCWSA to drill wells near Feldspar.
Frank Sherrill was the “presenter” of the Bear Creek
Reservoir project in December 2003. He
was spokesman for the project along with Tommy Craig of Newton County. At that time Mr. Sherrill told the crowd of
Jasperites that he had looked at all alternatives for Jasper County
and their only choice in obtaining water was to buy in to the Bear Creek
Reservoir project. It appears he has now
“discovered” water in wells near Feldspar.
The groundwork has been laid. The City and JCWSA
will join to borrow money and try to receive grants to drill wells and lay pipe
from the well field to Monticello
and connect to the current lines near Funderburg
Dr. This project is supposed to be a
50-50 cost share, but that’s where the technicalities begin. (See JCWSA resolution
At the September JCWSA meeting, members and Mr.
Sherrill made the point that JCWSA wouldn’t be paying much for the operations
and maintenance of this new venture because the City would be using the water
and not JCWSA. The operations cost will
be borne by each party in accordance to their usage. The City will be paying most if not all of that
cost. (See copy of the
agreement signed in May 2008)
Another point Mr. Sherrill made at the JCWSA meeting
is that in order to obtain the grant/loan package he’s been working on, the City must raise water rates by at least $10 per month. Yes, City utility bills will be increasing
again—unless of course the Council finds a way to lower the electric or gas
In the past it has been reported in the Monticello
News that the candidates for a position such as City Manager or County Manager
were to be run in the paper so the citizens would know who was being
considered. The citizens have certainly
been kept in the dark about this important position and the qualifications of
the candidates being considered.
Sherrill is the President of Hightower Engineering. http://www.manta.com/coms2/dnbcompany_cdrkkvj
has done work on various projects with Tommy Craig, including the Four County
Development Authority. “The Four County
Development Authority seems to have similar issues to those raised about the
Hard Labor Creek Reservoir Project in Walton County.
It involves some of the same consultants, Hightower Engineering and
Attorney-Consultant Tommy Craig.” http://www.avoc.info/info/article.php?article=3212&PHPSESSID=a64dff993020924e7fbd5d149ed3401a
Sherrill is the former mayor of Social
Circle and former member of the Walton County
Sewer & Water Authority.
Sherrill has worked with other cities to obtain water loans/grants. In March 2008 Mr.
Sherrill proposed CDBG grants and loans to the City of Oxford to replace drinking water lines.
He’s been the consulting engineer for JCWSA since
the Bear Creek Reservoir project came into the spotlight for Jasper County. Mr. Sherrill has recently been working with
the City of Monticello on water projects, including a water tower proposal in
June 2007 to the City Council. www.monticelloga.net/7/documents/27576.doc
If this rumor proves true, there is potential for conflicts--a
current consultant who owns an engineering firm doing business with the City
becoming the next City Manager. How will
this affect Mr. Sherrill’s relationship with the JCWSA and their partnership
with the City on proposed water projects?
Citizens of Monticello
should be asking their Mayor and Council questions about any and all candidates
for consideration as their next City Manager.