Addleton’s extended absence prompts questions
Cairo City Manager Chris Addleton has been out of work for the last several weeks due to illness and on Monday night questions about the day-to-day management of the city government were raised by Mayor Booker Gainor and local resident Sondra Jones.
Mayor Gainor asked during this week’s council meeting to whom issues should be directed, the city clerk or the city manager’s administrative assistant.
City Councilman James H. (Jimmy) Douglas said that Shana Taylor, the city manager’s administrative assistant, is communicating daily with Addleton and handling email and telephone communications in his absence.
“Anything that comes up she can pass it to Addleton or to the utility director and department heads,” Douglas said.
Sondra Jones requested to be recognized near the end of Monday night’s meeting and she asked why would the mayor not be the person in charge when the city manager is absent. Jones said that she did not understand why the elected representative of the people would not serve in that role. She also said that Mayor Gainor “had certainly helped out a lot during Hurricane Michael.”
Councilman Demario Byrden explained to Jones that the city’s form of government would not allow the mayor to serve in a managerial role. “Under our form of government, the city manager is responsible for the day-to-day operations. I get what you are saying, but it would take a different government than what we have,” Byrden said.
Jones questioned why the city council did not see the need for an assistant city manager. Councilman Douglas, who chairs the council’s finance committee, said that the city’s budget could not accommodate the additional position and noted that the utility director and department heads were capable of managing the day-to-day operations in the absence of the city manager. Douglas also noted that Addleton remains in contact with Taylor and the department heads.