• Brookhaven city manager may be highest paid city manager in metro

    By: Erica Byfield


    BROOKHAVEN, Ga. - Brookhaven's city manager, Marie Garrett, may be the highest paid city manager in the metro Atlanta area.
    Channel 2 Action News confirmed for more than a year Garrett worked as a salaried employee and as a paid consultant.
    Garrett does not have a signed contract with the city.
    Following an open records request the city's attorney emailed Channel 2 Action News a copy of her basic compensation.
    Channel 2’s Erica Byfield found for most of 2013 and a little of 2014 Garrett's base salary was $170,000 a year.
    She received that pay for working 10 hours a day Monday through Thursday.
    If Garrett worked a Friday she could charge the city $200 an hour as a consultant.
    Records show in 6 months she worked 123.5 hours as a consultant and made an additional $24,700.
    "I'm glad she's here and I'm glad we did it," said Brookhaven's Mayor J. Max Davis.
    Byfield asked him there was a conflict of interest.
    "Absolutely not in which way is it to pay a top notch talent for the services she's providing for us in whatever manner that we decide is best for the citizens of Brookhaven. She's not making more than she should or less than she should," Davis responded.
    A Brookhaven City councilman called Garrett's deal with the city unethical.
    "I think that is just plain wrong when it’s a deal that’s allowing the city manager to bill for services through her consulting firm," said Brookhaven Councilman Jim Eyre.
    Garrett got a pay raise in March of 2014.
    Her current salary is $214,000.
    "If you compare us to cities like Sandy Springs or Johns Creek that the type of talent we have to have to run the city especially being a startup that’s very important," said Davis.
    Byfield called five of the newest cities in Georgia.
    She asked for each city manager's salary and the city's population. 50,000 people live in Brookhaven.
    Sandy Springs' city manager represents 99,000 people and makes $190,905 a year.
    Johns Creek's city manager represents 82,000 residents and makes $183,818 a year.
    Milton's city manager represents 34,000 people and makes $150,000 a year.
    Dunwoody's city manager represents 47,000 people and makes $166,226 a year.
    Spokespeople for all of the cities said their city managers work Monday through Friday and do not receive any extra pay.
    Byfield asked to speak to Garrett for this story, but she was not made available.

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