City Manager Offered Chance to Voluntarily Resign

The Johns Creek City Council has proposed a six-month severance package.

Johns Creek City Manager offered opportunity to voluntarily resign at Monday night's City Council meeting.
Johns Creek City Manager offered opportunity to voluntarily resign at Monday night's City Council meeting.
After an executive session following Monday night's Johns Creek City Council meeting, the council reconvened to announce that City Manager John Kachmar would be resigning his post.

According to a statement posted on the city's website, "The City Council voted 4-2 to authorize the mayor and city attorneys to negotiate his "voluntary resignation."

The city has proposed a six-month severance package at the time a new city manager is hired but no later than March 1, whichever comes first.

The resignation comes on the heals of an Oct. 7, 2013 incident involving a verbal altercation with Jerry Bush, a Johns Creek resident. 

Kelly Stewart and Cori Davenport voted against giving Kachmar any form of severance package.

"The City of Johns Creek should not have to pay for that," said Stewart who said a six-month severance would be roughly $138,000. "It's a very black and white issue for me. Why should he be rewarded for this? He doesn't deserve an easy way out."

But Mayor Bodker and Council members Lenny Zaprowski, Brad Raffensperger and Ivan Figueroa looked at the option as the best for the city.

'We didn't have a lot of good options," said Raffensperger. "There were only three options: 1, continue his employment, 2, work out some time of settlement and close the chapter, or 3, choose an out-right termination."

Raffensperger said the choice to terminate without severance pay was not a good option as it would drag out the process with greater financial exposure to the city.

"There was really only one good choice," said Raffensperger. "This option allowed us to have closure, to put a lot of issues behind. It was a positive move over a very negative situation."

But Stewart doesn't see that as a good enough reason.

"The argument for giving him severance pay was that we don't want a long drawn out court case. We don't want the city to have a black eye," said Stewart.

"They didn't think of that when they voted to have the mayor investigated."

Kachmar has yet to accept the severance pay offer, he and his attorney are in settlement discussions with two attorneys who are representing the city.

Editor's note: Patch attempted to reach Mr. Kachmar for his comments for this story but we were not able to reach him by deadline for this story.

Read also:

No Charges Brought in Kachmar Dispute With Resident

Kachmar to Receive Written Reprimand for incident

Mayor Bodker Calls for City Manager's Resignation

City Manager Responds to Call for His Resignation

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Duke January 07, 2014 at 05:43 PM
Sounds reasonable, though I too wish we would not have to spend a dime on this guy. Next hire: how about Googling the candidates before hiring? This fellow leaves a trail of questions behind him - this should have been foreseen and I lay this at Mayor Bodker's feet. Google. The. Candidates. If you are too inept to do it, get your children to do it.
Mike January 07, 2014 at 06:05 PM
"steward" "on the heals" ...this article needs some editing.
Judy Putnam (Editor) January 07, 2014 at 06:33 PM
Thanks for pointing out my typo Mike. I have corrected it.
Johns Creek Resident January 07, 2014 at 08:36 PM
I would think Kelly of all people would understand being in HR but from her record of attendance she probably just missed that meeting. I hope for the the sake of the citizens she serves she decides to dramatically improve her attendance record.
Duke January 07, 2014 at 08:43 PM
I hope the Council considers replacing the city attorney who has been complicit in giving poor counsel to the Council... And am I to understand that our city attorney has his own firm on the side? Not sure if I get that. Anyway there are other attorneys who can step up and serve, I believe we may already have some young guns in house from what I have seen at council meetings.
Johns Creek Resident January 07, 2014 at 10:40 PM
Might want to 're-think the rookie strategy....certainly don't want anyone cutting their legal teeth with the cities future. You get what you pay for.
Mike Smith January 08, 2014 at 12:34 AM
So putting this all together, Raffensperger and Figueroa led the charge on this buddy payola AFTER grandstanding about how they want to lower the millage rate because the economy is rough, people are suffering and they are crusaders against greedy and wasteful government? They are true champions of the taxpayers.
Bob January 08, 2014 at 11:08 AM
Jerry Bush, not Jerry Busy. Were you using Siri voice on your iPhone when you wrote this article? Or are you just that sloppy?
Judy Putnam (Editor) January 08, 2014 at 12:43 PM
Bob, no not sloppy just bleary eyed and over worked. Please try walking in another man's (or woman's) moccasins please before being so critical. Thank you.
Robert Searl January 08, 2014 at 06:00 PM
Bob, are you just that perfect?
N Hale January 08, 2014 at 10:39 PM
Mr. Kachmar is getting a great deal. Considering he admitted to initiating the entire incident by interrupting a group of citizens conversations and calling one Citizen of Johns Creek a liar and then admitted entering into a profanity laced tirade that would never would have been started by Mr. Bush if Mr. Kachmar had not called a citizen a liar. To date Mr. Kachmar has never apologized but admitted under oath in a police report that he did these things. In private industry he would have been fired the next day. But here in Johns Creek he has continued to receive salary and benefits since October 7, 2013 and will continue to be on the payroll until March 1st then receive 6 months severance. Councilwoman Stewart was correct - he should have been terminated with cause with no payment. But for the City - he just needs to go. This was not political in any way - it was purely emotional and initiated by Mr. Kachmar. It is time for a new chapter in the City's history books.
Lu January 09, 2014 at 08:09 PM
It's ridiculous to me that Mr. Kachmar was not dismissed immediately after this incident, especially now knowing how much he was paid. I don't want our City to have to waste another penny, but it makes me madder to know that we are pretty much paying him off. Once again, I stand by Kelly Stewart and appreciate her and Cori's willingness to stand up for what they believe in and for what is right. We need to do what is right, and not be "blackmailed" with what could happen. Let Mr. Kachmar sue the City. That would just ensure he retires a very poor man. Even he's not that stupid.
Duke January 10, 2014 at 08:06 AM
Kachmar does not deserve a thin dime. I understand though that sometimes severance is necessary to wash away the grime. What is stunning though, is that apparently the guy makes 276,000 dollars or year. Guys, we are a city of 75,000 tops. Are your friggin serious? What's the mayor of Atlanta make? Or top city staff person of Atlanta? Macon? Savannah? I'm thinking that Johns Creek pays as much or more than those cities! Does that seem strange to anyone?
Duke January 10, 2014 at 08:12 AM
The Mayor of Atlanta has a salary of $184,000 per year. Does the Johns Creek City Manager really make $276,000 per year? What are we paying in that severance? Health insurance? You know that you don't need to do that, right? Answers please, city council. Judy - this is worth looking into and would make a good story.
Lu January 10, 2014 at 09:12 AM
According to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Local Government Wage and Salary Survey, in 2012, the maximum salary range reported for the following Georgia cities is: Johns Creek (pop. 79,192) = $203,169; Alpharetta (pop. 59,397) = $155,664; Roswell (pop. 91,168) = $191,964; Milton (pop. 33,711) = $185,000. So it appears that our city manager has been well-compensated for the job he does, which minimally should be a demonstration of courtesy and respect to the population he serves. Now, he'll be well-compensated to take a nice vacation.
Johns Creek Resident January 10, 2014 at 10:43 PM
John wasn't paid enough money to deal with the psychotic nail biting diet coke guzzling crook that he endured for 7 years. I feel sorry for the staff who by the way most of them have zero respect for Mike.
Duke January 10, 2014 at 11:39 PM
Johns Creek Resident: is that you, John Kachmar?
Johns Creek Resident January 11, 2014 at 07:16 AM
No Craig it is not.
Public January 11, 2014 at 12:53 PM
Duke, could be Rosemary Taylor. She's proven she doesn't mind making less than true statements in the media to help Kachmar attempt to destroy Bodker (or anyone else JK takes aim at). I want to know how much we've been paying for her disservice to the city?
Johns Creek Resident January 11, 2014 at 01:02 PM
LOL...keep guessing!
frankfromjc January 11, 2014 at 01:35 PM
The city is having to negotiate a settlement because they are in a weak position. If they don't handle it right, it could cost the city millions. Mr. Kachmar has them over a barrel. Good for him.
Duke January 11, 2014 at 02:20 PM
Frank -I disagree. Certainly a city manager can be let go, or is a job for life? On what grounds woukd John have to sue? As it is, it's too much - I don't understand the figure, as it appears it is over 6 mos salary. John Kachmar will likely not be employed again as a City Manager and certainly never make this kind of salary again (odds are against it anyway). So he has to stretch that money and make it last.
Johns Creek Resident January 11, 2014 at 08:05 PM
Craig / Duke you are again speaking from an uninformed position as a prominent well respected attorney once told me....."..poorly run cities have made me a rich man! " Why don't you get an attorney's interpretation with knowledge of ALL the facts....then you may be able to understand this volitile situation that Mike's inaction and Kelly's speaking out of turn to the press has presented to our fair city of epic liability. I certainly think this situation between John and Mike's thug gang was a poor decision on his part .
Duke January 11, 2014 at 08:17 PM
Um... Craig? Wha?? Anyway, it is too complex for you to explain JC Res? Certainly we are both intelligent enough to understand a summary. What grounds would Mr. Kachmar have to sue? He serves at the pleasure of the city council. The council has removed him and passed a generous severance package, to the disdain of many. What grounds does he have? That the council did not follow policy? That his contact said he could never be removed?
Mike Smith January 12, 2014 at 01:15 AM
Duke, don't indulge the troll with two Id's and one obsession for the absurd. You'll get more credible information during a discussion with your toaster.
Johns Creek Resident January 12, 2014 at 06:49 AM
Mike....name calling is an indication that you can't support the argument......get the facts......why don't you go ask the Mayor why he changed his tune on this situation with John pre election and post election. He's a man of his word I am sure you'll get the truth.Go ahead call him. Craig = Duke get it?
Mike Smith January 12, 2014 at 11:34 AM
internet troll Web definitions In Internet slang, a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, either accidentally or with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response ...
Johns Creek Resident January 12, 2014 at 08:13 PM
Hey Toaster Boy Mike....ever heard of the Federal Whistle Blower laws....better go check that poptart!
Lu January 13, 2014 at 04:44 PM
Blowing your whistle, especially with as little air as Mr. Kachmar had behind his whistle, doesn't give a person immunity for their job responsibilities. If Mr. Kachmar was dismissed because of his actions surrounding the investigation, perhaps he would have a case. But his despicable words and actions against his "customers" would have resulted in an immediate termination in just about any work setting. Those actions are at issue here, and he shouldn't get a free ride just because he blew his whistle.


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