Guetschow officially named Charlotte city manager

The Charlotte City Council approved a contract for Gregg Guetschow to become its new city manager at its Jan. 28 meeting.

Charlotte’s top authorities met on the 28th to discuss several agenda items, including approving Gregg Guetschow (previously interim city manager) as permanent city manager and approval of the Winter Fest, held by the Charlotte Jaycees on Saturday, Feb. 1.

“(Guetschow) always puts the city first,” said Mayor Deb Shaughnessy. The decision was unanimously approved by the council. Guetschow was hired as an interim city manager in September 2007 after former City Manger Dennis Stark resigned in August 2006. Mayor Pro Tem, Dee Smith, seconded Councilwoman Mary Jean Baker’s motion to approve of Guetschow’s two-year contract with Charlotte. Smith told the audience – both council and about five people from the public – that Guetschow’s contract requires goals for his position be created within 30 days of this new approval.

In community news, the Charlotte Jaycees approached council concerning the use of the sledding hill on Shepherd Street for their first-ever Winter Fest, which will be held this Saturday. “We just wanted to find a winter activity for families to get out of the winter blues,” Sandra Hillard said. Hillard is the community development vice president of the Charlotte Jaycees.The Jaycees is a leadership organization for young adults, usually between the ages of 21 and 40.

While the council welcomed the idea, City Attorney Hitch also requested that the Jaycees agree to be responsible for liability issues as well as the caretaking – like garbage disposal – for the sledding hill that day.

Upon the departure of the Jaycees from the podium, council agreed that information on community events is important but a new way of approving or disapproving their requests should be created. Council said that it would only be in the interest of speeding along government business. No concrete ideas were created or endorsed.

In addition, a proposal was made to cut the pay of the government building’s custodians. The only resolution as to how much to cut the pay came from Guetschow, who suggested “A more appropriate pay range for that classification.” Currently, the custodians in the building are employed through a private contractor. With little debate or discussion, council quickly approved the motion.

Guetschow and council also discussed the agenda from their last meeting – held January 14 – pertaining to the pay for Charlotte’s Fitch H. Beach Airport employees. Upon the mayor’s request for a resolution, Guetschow recommended the airport committee be revised. Councilman Kevin Weissenborn agreed. “We need non-pilot, city residents interested in participating (on the committee),” he said. Although no set revisions have been made or approved for the committee yet, it is an on-going issue that council hopes to discuss and resolve at future meetings.

Council adjourned their open session after about an hour to hold a closed session to discuss a Collective Bargaining agreement, the litigation on the A.E. Hoover property and the Calhoun County Watershed Project and Dam.

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