Since 2005, Jacobs has staffed most new Georgia cities, which typically begin hiring their own employees later.
Cobble said Friday that Jacobs’ decision did not come as a surprise.
“Although it may not have had a ticking clock at that time (of discussion), it’s not a brand new conversation or a brand new revelation (for the city) to provide services to our constituents in a different method,” she said.
In April, the city began exploring new staffing options following an internal investigation into how money was spent that the city received from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. A city charter change was also made, which shifted power from the mayor to the City Council and city manager.
At the same time, Janice Allen Jackson was hired as acting city manager. While she isn’t a Jacobs employee, her contract is set to expire at the end of this year, but she said there is a provision that allows her to continue working beyond that date if Stonecrest has not selected a permanent replacement.
“We will negotiate our way through this transition in a way that is in the best interest of our organization and the city’s residents,” Jackson said in an emailed statement.
According to the city’s charter, Stonecrest must provide its citizens with economic development, community development and parks and recreation services in addition to basic city administration and finance services. Cobble said Jacobs currently provides nearly 40 employees to fulfill those departments, but she said the change will allow the city to figure out its own staffing needs.
“That’s the number that Jacobs decided that we needed to provide those services. That doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the true number,” she said. “We may need more, we may need less, or that maybe spot on.”
While the council is in the early stages of determining its steps forward, Cobble said it is possible that Jacobs current staff assigned to the city could be hired as permanent city employees. If that’s a route the city pursues, the hiring would take place on a case-by-case basis.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to finally stand the city up on our own and provide these services to our constituents,” Cobble said.
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