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Mayor to discuss engineering change


Mayor Robert Smith

Mayor Robert Smith



Nathan Gregory



Columbus Mayor Robert Smith is set to discuss the city's engineering services during tonight's city council meeting at the municipal complex. 


The meeting will begin at 5 p.m. 


Councilmen voted July 2 to solicit proposals from engineering firms for services rather than re-appointing Neel-Schaffer to the post. They also voted to create a new city position, project manager, and accepted an unsolicited proposal from J5 Broaddus, a joint venture between local businessman Jabari Edwards and Texas-based firm Broaddus & Associates, to staff the new post.  


On July 23, councilmen voted to compensate J5 Broaddus with a yearly $90,000 retainer plus travel fees and six percent of project expenses. The company agreed to lease a city-owned rental space for $6,000 a year to house its operation.  


The city has not officially advertised for proposals from engineering firms, nor have officials announced when or if they plan to advertise. 


A call to Smith's office Monday for comment was not returned. 


The otherwise light meeting agenda consists of routine board business, including options for board appointments, hearings on overgrown lots and dilapidated properties. 


During a special meeting Monday held almost entirely in executive session, the council voted to suspend two police officers and accept the resignation of another. One officer was suspended 60 working days and another for 30. State code allows officials to discuss and take action on personnel matters in executive session. None of the employees were identified. Columbus Police Chief Selvain McQueen had no comment on the nature of the actions. 


Three public works employees were also suspended, one for 60 days, one for 30 days and another for three days.


Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.



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