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.
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.