With his contract expired, Frank Parker is expected to have the interim tag taken off the Statesboro city manager position he has filled since Shane Haynes was forced to resign in September 2010.
City council members Will Britt, John Riggs and Travis Chance said Parker will be confirmed Tuesday following an executive session at its regular session.
“We will discuss Frank during executive session,” Britt said. “When we come back into the meeting, I fully expect council will vote to offer him the job. I really believe we would not find a person more dedicated and with better relationships in the city of Statesboro. I believe he is the best candidate we could hire.”
Deemed a cost-saving, temporary replacement to help stabilize city issues, Parker was hired at the cost of $3,000 per month and signed to a rolling 30-day contract. After a second 30 days serving the post, Parker was offered a $1,000 raise and six-month contract effective beginning in December. That contract expires today.
And while Riggs joined Britt in his strong support of Parker, Chance, who has repeatedly urged the city to conduct a search to find the best candidate, believes council is going back on its word.
“The council has handled this about as shady a way as possible,” Chance said. “Let’s take Frank’s name out of this. They appointed a man before the ink is dry on the resignation letter of the former city manager. They sold this person on his qualifications being worth a lower pay scale. The person they put in that office has no more experience than he had before except the eight months he’s been in the seat.”
Haynes was paid a $115,000 yearly salary, plus certain expenses, during his tenure. Chance said he didn’t believe Parker would be offered a similar salary.
“When we made him interim city manager all of us were in favor of doing a search for a city manager, but I’ve changed my mind on that,” Riggs said. “I cannot think of anyone in the entire world who would do better than him. Having grown up here and knowing as much as he does about the city of Statesboro, I can’t see anyone doing as good a job as Frank.”
Britt echoed Riggs’ sentiments.
“I believe he is very professional,” Britt said. “I like his relationships with department heads and employees. I really believe we would not find a person doing a search more dedicated and with better relationships in the city of Statesboro. I believe he is the best candidate we could hire.”
But Chance remains unconvinced and said he would vote against Parker even if he is the only one to do so.
“If we did a search and Frank Parker was the logical choice and he was the most qualified candidate then give him the job,” Chance said. “But they have not even attempted to do a search because this has already been determined. This is not about what’s doing what’s best for the city of Statesboro and that’s terrible.
“The problem that I see is that this has been predetermined the whole time by select councilmen. That was their plan from the beginning. And I called it. I said months ago that they have no intention of doing a search. All the council members and the mayor said previously they were in favor of a search. They have just slapped everyone in the face and that should not be allowed to stand.
“It has to stop. This council as a governing body has no more regard for its citizenry than the dirt on the bottom of their shoe.”
James Healy can be reached at (912) 489-9402.