COVINGTON, Ga. – The Newton County Board of Commissioners voted to approve new contracts County Manager Lloyd Kerr and the county’s law firm, Jarrard & Davis, LLP, at its Jan. 15 meeting.
Under terms of Kerr's new contract, he will receive a base salary of $135,000 annually. Beginning July 1, 2021 the county will conduct market studies every two years for county manager salaries and adjust Kerr’s salary if the market study finds that he is underpaid.
Kerr will also have use of a county-owned vehicle “that is appropriate for carrying out the duties of his position” or if the county chooses, a monthly car allowance of $500. If Kerr declines use of a county vehicle, the county has no obligation to pay for one.
According to terms of the contract, Kerr will also receive four weeks of vacation annually and accrue sick leave at the same rate as other county employees.
Commissioners also approved one year contract for Jarrard & Davis, LLP to continue as county attorney.
Under terms of the contract, the county will pay $175 per hour for attorney services and $75 per hour for paralegal services.
According to the contract, both Jarrard & Davis and the county share a “common objective” of limiting the county’s 2019 legal spending to no more than $700,000 or $58,333.33 per month.
From the contract: “The parties agree that they will monitor monthly attorney fee expenditures and, in the event that a trend develops suggesting that 2019 fees may exceed $700,000, representatives of the Parties will work together to develop strategies such that the $700,000 figure can be attained.”
The contract says that the $700,000 is not a cap, but a “benchmark” that the county and its law firm will try to meet.
According to county documents, $899,578 was budgeted for legal services in FY 2017 and $800,000 for FY 2018.