Brookhaven, GA, April 18th – by Trey Benton – An op-ed piece written by Brookhaven Mayor, J. Max Davis reveals City Manager, Marie Garrett’s base salary has been increased to $214,000, a $44,000 increase over last year.
According to Mayor Davis’ op-ed, “Our Council was unanimous in our belief that a salary of $214,000 for retaining Marie would be a good investment.” Although there is no record of the pay increase having been approved by City Council — through open records requests, The Post has obtained payment records showing Garrett’s 2013 and 2014-YTD total compensation vastly exceeds the amount stated by the Mayor.
Garrett, a resident of Alpharetta, was appointed the Interim City Manager of Brookhaven in December 2012 where she contracted with the city to perform City Manager services at a rate of $200.00 per hour. Her compensation also included a base salary of $170,000.00, a $600.00 monthly car allowance, $1583.50 monthly reimbursement for medical insurance and other travel expenses. She also received a $40,954.00 pension annuity.
In 2013, City records show, Garrett received compensation upwards of $319,058.85 from the City of Brookhaven, an amount much greater than her $170,000.00 base salary.
Other emails and records show Garrett’s invoices were approved by the Mayor, and were paid without any written contracts or written agreements between the City and Garrett, and without approval by City Council.
Paycheck stubs show in the first three months of 2014, Garrett has received $49,153.84 in salary and $11,700.00 in consulting fees – as well as her car allowance of $600.00 per month. Add in $1583.50 for monthly insurance reimbursements and another pension annuity of 25% of her annual salary, she is on track to receive well over $300,000.00 again this year in total compensation – well above the $214,000.00 base salary stated by Mayor Davis.
According to City Attorney Tom Kurrie, “There is no written agreement between the City and Ms. Garrett regarding her employment as City Manager during this second year.”
Mayor Davis also stated in his op-ed, “Keeping Marie Garrett in Brookhaven is sound fiscal policy that gives home-seekers and business investors the confidence that locating in Brookhaven is a good move.”
According to a 2013 Municipal Wage & Salary Survey of cities with a population less than 100,000 — Garrett’s base salary of $214,000.00 (before taking into account nearly $100,000.00 of potential compensation and benefits) makes her the highest paid City Manager in the state.