Interim City Manager Keith Selman tells 6 Investigates he needed to spend $11,000 on a City Manager suite remodel to correct a problem.
“I wanted to bring the executive team together. I think it’s more conducive to the effectiveness of the executive team to be geographically located.”
(Selman, who is not yet saying whether he’ll seek the permanent City Manager’s position, says having Assistant City Managers in other places at city hall made it hard to communicate.)
But Chief Investigative Reporter Rick Spruill asks, with the city facing so many other expensive challenges, why this, why now?
“Well, it wasn’t a lot of money to begin with and number two, I felt like it was necessary,” Selman says.
The City Manager’s suite of offices is on the fifth floor at City Hall. The work remodel includes $6,000 worth of new carpet, $3,100 for labor (5 employees x 56 hours x $11/hr) and another $2,000 for materials (studs, drywall, mud corners, cling tiles, etc.), this according to a spreadsheet from City Communications Director Kim Womack.
But, as some city council members quietly shake their heads over the decision, Mayor Joe McComb tells 6 Investigates he doesn’t understand the fuss.
He says Selman is the top city executive and should be allowed to decide how to best align his people. McComb compared the $11,000 redesign to a homeowner’s decision to do the same.
“$10,000, $11,000 is not a lot of money in the overall scheme of things … it sends the signal that they’ve got the ability to make some decisions that they think would improve the efficiency and the management of the city.”