City Manager Mike Melton has taken advantage of his opportunity to appeal the Richmond Hill City Council’s decision to terminate his contract.
According to Mayor Harold Fowler, Melton, who is currently suspended with pay, filed an appeal Tuesday with the city after receiving official paperwork of his termination.
Melton’s contract was declared null and void by the council Jan. 3 due to conflicts with the city’s charter.
An employment appeal public hearing is at 6 p.m. Thursday, but Fowler said the hearing may not happen if Melton accepts an offer the city plans to make.
“We’re trying to work out negotiations, maybe to give him a month or two severance,” Fowler said.
But if Melton declines, the public hearing will go on as scheduled, Fowler said.
City Attorney Ray Smith said the hearing will give Melton the opportunity to be represented by an attorney, call witnesses or present paperwork to the council. It is due process, he said, and “literally like a (court) hearing.”
Smith said because Melton has requested an appeal hearing, the council can only adopt a final resolution for his removal, which may be made effective immediately, after the hearing.
According to the city’s current charter, a city manager should be hired for an “indefinite term,” but Melton’s contract was for a definite term.
The hearing is open to the public, though portions may be closed.