The Brookhaven City Council officially approved Jan. 26 a $225,000 settlement package with former city manager Marie Garrett and thanked her for her service.

The city stated last week it reached a severance package agreement with Garrett last week for $225,000 and in turn she agreed to resign her post.

As part of the council’s ratification of the $225,000 settlement, the council also approved a resolution thanking Garrett for her service.

The resolution acknowledges the city and Garrett resolved a “contract disagreement.”

The resolution reads:

The city of Brookhaven, Georgia was duly incorporated on Dec. 17, 2012; and

Marie Garrett has served as the city’s only city manager from its inception; and

The city wishes to publicly acknowledge Ms. Garrett’s contribution to the city’s success;

Now therefore it be resolved by the mayor and the council of the city of Brookhaven that the city of Brookhaven hereby states publicly and unanimously as follows:

The city of Brookhaven and Marie Garrett have resolved a contract disagreement to the satisfaction of all concerned. Over the past three years, Marie Garrett’s integrity and hard work have been invaluable assets to our city and instrumental to the city’s success. The mayor and city council thank Marie for her devoted service and wish her the best in her future endeavors.

Former mayoral candidate Dale Boone spoke during public comment and said he was unhappy there was no documentation laying out what Garrett did that led to her separation from the city.

“City managers come and city managers go. I like documentation. If someone has done something wrong, I want to see documentation,” he told the council. “And I have yet to see any documentation that my previous city manager did anything wrong.”

Jim McKechnie, a local real estate agent, said he was “disappointed” in the council’s action and decision to not be transparent about what happened between the city and Garrett.

“This is not right,” he said. “More transparency needs to come from this council and it needs to start now.”

Mayor John Ernst declined comment about Garrett after the meeting.

Council members held a special called meeting Jan. 12 to suspend her and set a meeting to fire her, but instead agreed to enter into mediation with her and her attorney. The city’s employment attorney said the mediation was necessary to avoid a long and expensive legal battle.

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.

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