This issue came to head after a query was brought forth at the regular June meeting of the city council. George Anderson of the Ethics in Government Group and Adairsville business owner Joseph Summerfield raised the matter, citing not grievances in policy but integrity in office.
"My issue with it is when a councilperson signs a policy with a clear understanding of what it says then they abuse that policy and there's no disciplinary action taken by the council, the mayor, the city council -- then yeah I'm going to stand up and scream. It's integrity," Summerfield said.
Councilmen Alan Towe and Connie Morrow called for Monday's meeting to discuss the policy after hearing increased concern over the issue from citizens.
"After hearing about it and inquiring about it and getting questions from other concerned citizens about cell phones I didn't have a lot of answers to some questions that had been raised so I thought we needed to get together and see if we were all on the same page," Towe said. "I would like to talk openly about it before the citizens that are here and the rest of the council."
Three of the four councilmen admitted to not being aware of a signed policy being in place but all welcomed a review of the city's phone bills in order to find any problem there may be with the policy or employee procedures.
Interim City Manager Bill McCain and City Finance Director Roger Freeman shared their knowledge of the situation, stating that there are around 50 cell phones owned and issued by the city and that a collective pool of minutes is used for almost all of them with the exception of some on a separate network to meet coverage needs for on-call staff.
Towe asked McCain to look into the matter in detail as an audit of the plan and policy as well as checking phone statements for the gross misuse of cell phones and the frequency of those occurrences due to citizen and employee concerns.
McCain said he would be looking into the matter in time as he currently has items of a higher priority to address.
The Adairsville City Council will meet Wednesday and Thursday at 6 p.m. to discuss in executive session the position of City Manager and to review resumes. The city of Adairsville's next regular meeting will be Tuesday, July 6, at 7 p.m. in city hall.