In a close vote Avondale Estates commission approves stipend

By a 3-2 margin Avondale Estates’ commission approved a stipend for itself, possibly becoming the last all-volunteer city commission in Georgia.

Mayor Jonathan Elmore and Commissioners Brian Fisher and Adela Yelton voted in favor of the stipend, while the two senior-most commissioners, Mayor Pro Tem Terry Giager and Randy Beebe voted against.

Giager has been steadfast against compensation since the commission began discussing the possibility last winter. Initially Beebe was in favor though he believed it should take effect when all current members left the board. By Wednesday, however, he came around to Giager’s thinking.

“We have so many boards in this city and they are all volunteer,” Beebe said. “The more I think about it the more I’m against it. I think, maybe we should dare to be different and remain volunteers.”

Several weeks ago commissioners had briefly discussed putting the question on a referendum but ultimately chose to decide the issue themselves.

With the three junior members prevailing, beginning January, 2018, commissioners will receive $400 monthly and the mayor $600 monthly, a total $26,400 annually.