Holiday city bonuses on pause in College Park until full council can vote

College Park city employees may be out of a holiday bonus, and a decision on the new city budget is now postponed.
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 11:26 PM EST
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COLLEGE PARK, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - College Park city employees may be out of a holiday bonus and a decision on the new city budget is now postponed.

Two council members neglected to show up to the city council meeting Monday night, preventing the council from passing agenda items in a timely manner.

“I’ve been in government 16 years here, and I was a school board president many years ago. I‘ve never seen anything like this,” College Park City Councilman Ambrose Clay said.

Councilman Ambrose said this is the second time this year that council members Roderick Gay and Joe Carn have prevented the city from voting on key agenda items.

“These are the same two council people that walked out in a key meeting earlier this year where we were about to try to approve the budget,” Ambrose said.

Several residents who showed up were also upset, “I was very disappointed,” one College Park resident said.

Monday night it was déjà vu, except this time they didn’t even show up.

“There are people counting on us!” said College Park Mayor Bianca Motley Broom.

Mayor Broom also expressed disappointment in the absence of both council members.

She said the sudden absence prevented the council from passing key agenda items again, including holiday bonuses for city employees, incentives for new job training, and they couldn’t vote on the city’s upcoming fiscal budget.

City Manager Stanley Hawthorne said he received an email from council member Gay claiming he was sick and under a physician’s care.

Councilman Gay contacted Atlanta News First and said that he was unable to walk due to an allergic reaction and that’s why he didn’t make it to the meeting.

Atlanta News First reached out to Councilman Carn for a response on his absence and we are still waiting to hear back.

Mayor Broom said Carn didn’t provide a reason for his absence.

“My god you’ve got to agree for the benefit of the citizens to approve the budget, and you got to agree for the benefit of the employees to approve the Christmas bonus!” Ambrose emphasized.

Council members said it is unacceptable to prevent the city from making decisions in a timely manner.

“We can’t do the work tonight and I am certainly sorry that is the case, but what we do have is an opportunity to reschedule so we will be back here next Monday,” Mayor Broom said.

Mayor Broom said they’re going to try to have this meeting again next Monday at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall where hopefully they can vote on holiday bonuses, the city’s budget, and other agenda items.