77
      Saturday
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      Dawson City Council members unable to contain emotions during meeting

      The Dawson City Council is divided on an issue involving City Manager Barney Parnacott and Mayor Chris Wright, and during their meeting on Thursday night things got a little heated / Colby Gallagher


      The Dawson City Council is divided on an issue involving City Manager Barney Parnacott and Mayor Chris Wright, and during their meeting on Thursday night things got a little heated.

      Council members debated whether or not to overturn an ordinance that contradicted the town's charter, which is similar to a constitution. City Attorney Tommy Coleman says the charter states the city manager serves as chief executive officer, however a code was passed years ago that assigns that title to the mayor.

      Coleman says despite the code, previous boards listened to the charter but after newly elected Mayor Chris Wright attempted to issue an executive order requiring his consent for any expenses over $100, they needed to either get rid of the code or begin following it.

      However, when it came time to vote, things didn't go as planned as City Councilman John Harris passionately urged others to vote for keeping the ordinance in order to give the power to Mayor Wright, not Parnacott.

      After things finally calmed down and Mayor Wright regained control of the floor, the council then voted 4-to-2 to overturn the code and clarify that Parnacott is indeed chief executive officer.

      "By them voting the way they did tonight, it just gives the city manager more power," said Harris.

      Others disagree and say not much has changed, the vote was just a simple clarification.

      "He has no more power than what he originally had, and that's what the charter stated that he's capable of doing. So we didn't add anything to his power, the power he has is the same power he had before the issue even came up," said Councilman Calvin A. Stephens.

      Stay connected to MySouthWestGA.com as stories develop and the FOX 31 Newscast at 10 PM. Visit us on Facebook and Twitter to join in on the conversation and connect with FOX 31!

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