STONE MOUNTAIN — Former Gwinnett Chairman Wayne Hill will take the reins of the Evermore Community Improvement District.
Hill, who was the top elected official in Gwinnett from 1993 through 2004, was the unanimous choice of the board of U.S. Highway 78 business owners, who have been at odds over the executive director position for months.
The issue of renewing the contract for former Snellville City Manager Jim Brooks caused four board members to sit out three meetings before a 4-4 tie vote was held last month, causing Brooks’ contract to expire.
The death of board member Forrest Adair in late September tipped the balance of power to Emory Morsberger, Gary Custar, Jimmy Norton and Don Robison, who moved quickly Wednesday to unseat Dwight Harrison as chairman. Morsberger took his place as the board’s leader.
The group “put to bed” the issue of Brooks’ contract, voting against its renewal, after selecting Hill to serve for about six months.
“I think Wayne Hill will do a phenomenal job,” Morsberger said.
When reached after the session, Hill said his top priority is helping the board get a permanent executive director, a job he does not want.
“We’ll see if I can pull them together,” he said. “They are a good strong bunch of folks, opinionated folks and that’s good.”
The board directed Hill to use a consultant to help reconsider bid proposals for a landscape contractor. Concerns over the bidding process caused a stalemate on that issue last month, but board members said they hope to get a new landscaper approved next month.
Also, the group set a Dec. 22 election to replace Adair with an election among the land owners. Adair’s son Chip is expected to be a candidate.
During the close of the meeting, Morsberger said, “I want to keep us moving forward on economic development and the positive momentum on Highway 78. I would like us to stay as positive as possible with the media and with each other.”
Before a packed audience, former Commissioner Marcia Neaton read portions of an e-mail from David Stedman, the CID’s economic development director, to the four board members in the controlling faction.
Stedman’s dismissal in late 2008 caused a 2009 furor that eventually caused the ousting of Brett Harrell as executive director. He was then rehired.
Neaton was cut off from her comments by the CID’s attorney, who said character assassination was inappropriate during the public comment period.