After 21 Years of Service, Mayor Barbara Mathis, is Hanging Up Her Gavel

Community, Featured

Barbara Mathis has been a dedicated elected official of the City of Hiawassee since the

1990’s and Mayor since 1996. She has decided for various personal reasons to retire before her

term ends in December of this year. As Mayor Mathis was considering retirement, the City

discovered that certain procedural errors may have been made related to the method used for the

official approval of the Mayor’s compensation and the addition of the Mayor to the City’s

retirement plan. The City’s retirement plan documents needed to be amended to properly

include the Mayor as a participant. The City made regular contributions to the plan on behalf of

the Mayor and the amendment was simply to bring the language of the plan into conformity with

the reality of the City’s actions and intent. The City adopted the necessary amendments to the

retirement plan at its regular April meeting.

BarbaraIn order to eliminate the possibility of future disputes

between Mayor Mathis and the City over any past

procedural matters, the City and Mayor Mathis signed a

Release of Claims agreement. The Administrator of the

City’s retirement plan agreed that the Release

Agreement was advisable and in everyone’s best interest.

That Agreement provides that both Mayor Mathis and the

City will release the other party from any claims related to

procedural errors that may have occurred in the past related

to the Mayor’s compensation, payment of qualifying fees, and entitlement to retirement benefits. To

facilitate a smooth transition, Mayor Mathis will make herself available to the City as a consultant for the

remainder of the year. These services will be provided at no additional cost to the City. The Agreement

provides everyone with certainty in an unusual situation.

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