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Subadan resigned after learning contract wasn't being renewed
  • Updated

County Administrator Sharon D. Subadan resigned after being told by the Douglas County Board of Commissioners that her contract would not be renewed, according to her resignation letter.

The letter, obtained by the Sentinel via an Open Records Request, is dated Dec. 3 and addressed to the BOC and Commission Chairman Romona Jackson Jones.

“As a result of your notification that my contract will not be renewed, I am formally notifying this body that my last day of employment will be Dec. 31, 2021,” Subadan wrote in the letter.

Citing a clause in her contract titled “Termination By the Employer Without Just Cause: Notice,” Subadan in the letter asks that commissioners pay her base salary for six months severance pay as called for in the contract. She also asks for payment for vacation time, sick and annual leave and holidays as called for in her contact. And she asks for continuation of all pension, retirement, health plan and other benefits for six months, all of which are in her contract.

Subadan’s contract calls for a base salary of $215,000 annually. She was hired in April to replace Mark Teal, whose contract was not renewed at the end of 2020.

Earlier this month, Jones confirmed the resignation but offered few details.

Subadan declined to comment on the resignation.

“Ms. Subadan has decided to resign and pursue other opportunities,” Jones said earlier this month when asked about Subadan’s resignation. “We appreciated her services to the county and wish her the best.”

Subadan came from Albany, Georgia, where she served as the city manager.

“In resigning and precipitating an amicable end to my employment with Douglas County, I am requesting that confidentiality be given to the circumstances and conversations surrounding my departure,” Subadan wrote in the resignation letter.

A search is set to begin for Subadan’s replacement.

A name was not released to the Sentinel by a county spokesperson on who will take over once Subadan leaves until her replacement is hired.

As the top non-elected official in the county, Subadan ran the day-to-day operations, which included overseeing the budget.

Foxhall seeks new deal from BOC
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Even as Foxhall Resort in south Douglas County has added villas, a $10 million clubhouse and other amenities in recent years, a Westin Hotel and conference center that have been talked about for a decade have been elusive.

The Douglas County Board of Commissioners in 2016 approved an incentive package that was to bring the hotel and conference to fruition. But there were issues with funding.

Foxhall is now back before the BOC asking for a different agreement that could get the hotel and conference center off the ground by late next year, according to Chris Pumphrey, executive director of the Development Authority of Douglas County.

Pumphrey made a presentation to the BOC at its Dec. 13 work session laying out the new proposal from The Merrill Trust, which owns Foxhall.

The project now covers 50 acres at the resort and includes a 250-room Westin Hotel, 200 unbranded rooms in villas, a 50,000-square-feet conference center, a 20,000-square-feet clubhouse, two restaurants, two bars, a market and light retail, according to a letter Pumphrey wrote to the BOC.

Pumphrey also stressed in the letter that Foxhall will not be annexed into the city of Chattahoochee Hills, a prospect that had been entertained earlier this year.

Under the new request, the development authority would provide a 15-year tax abatement to Foxhall and redirect hotel/motel taxes generated by the project to cover debt service and offset marketing costs.

“We’ve heard a lot of the concerns,” Pumphrey told the Sentinel. “So it’s trying to find that middle ground to where the project still is a significant economic generator for the county and that the project also gets a sufficient tax break to where they can sell those bonds in the bond market. I think that’s what we have.”

Pumphrey said the way the new proposed abatement is structured, Foxhall would be exempt from property taxes on 50 acres for the first five years. In the sixth year, property taxes would start being phased in until year 16, when Foxhall would pay 100% of property taxes.

Under the old deal approved in 2016, Foxhall was to have received a 30-year property tax abatement on 95 acres, Pumphrey said.

Pumphrey said there is precedent for a 15-year abatement, noting that Google was recently given a 15-year abatement by the BOC. Switch was given three 10-year abatements for its data center facilities, Pumphrey said.

Under the new deal, roads built by Foxhall would remain private and be maintained by the resort instead of the roads becoming public and being maintained by the county like in the old deal.

All local sales tax would be paid to the county and school system under the new deal. In the 2016 deal, sales tax generated by the development was designated to cover bond indebtedness.

Both the 2016 deal and current deal would involve the development authority issuing bonds for the conference center. However, in the new deal, non-recourse revenue bonds with no financial obligation to county taxpayers are being used, Pumphrey told commissioners in the letter.

Hotel/motel taxes would go to Foxhall to cover bond indebtedness under the 2016 and current proposals.

Pumphrey said plans are for the new proposal from Foxhall to go before the BOC at its first meetings in January.

He said an analysis by Georgia Tech showed the project generating $49 million in fiscal impact over 15 years — $32 million for the county and $17 million for the school system.

Asked what would happen to Foxhall if the BOC doesn’t agree to the new proposal, Pumphrey said he’s not sure.

“They may just seek alternatives with the site,” he said. “ But it wouldn’t have its optimal use, I don’t believe, if it’s not approved. … Maybe it just winds up being a residential site, which would not be the optimal use of it.”

Elaborating on what he meant by “optimal use,” Pumphrey said if Foxhall becomes primarily a residential site, it might bring in a quarter of the $49 million fiscal impact projected from the Westin and conference center.

“With residential you also have more services that are associated with that,” he said. “So it’s why we do economic development. You attract commercial and industrial development into the community so that you can try to balance out the cost of services. So, the more you can bring into the digest, the better services that you can provide, the more improvements you can make to your parks, the more you can improve roads and all those various things. So you need that commercial offset. Otherwise, it’s going to be solely residential, and residential, if it’s all residential, it just doesn’t pay for itself. And so you need those offsets to make the community more attractive.”

Pride, bragging rights motivate county players for All-Star Classic
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County pride and bragging rights will be on the line for Douglas County School System senior football players.

Seniors from all five county teams will participate in Thursday’s Senior Bowl Classic All-Star game at Lakewood Stadium.

Team DCSS will take on seniors from Atlanta Public Schools in a 5 p.m. contest. APS is 3-0 in the all-star classic while DCSS is making its inaugural appearance.

“It is huge for us to be a part of this,” Lithia Springs coach Corey Jarvis said. “We have been skipped over for a while. All-star games are a lot of fun.”

Jarvis will serve as Team DCSS head coach.

He said the all-star game will have a sentimental value to him since he graduated from and previously coached in APS.

“For the kids, it is for the bragging rights,” Jarvis said.

Team DCSS held its first of three practices Monday at Douglas County High.

The Senior Bowl Classic is presented by the Minority Coaches Association of Georgia. In addition to the Team DCSS game against APS, the day will kickoff with DeKalb County against Henry County at noon.

It will be followed by a 2:30 p.m. contest with Clayton County squaring off against South Fulton.

The players said they are grateful for the opportunity to play another high school game against some solid competition.

“I’m happy to represent Douglas County,” Douglas County High defensive lineman Mitchell Moultrie said. “I get an opportunity to play with some of my teammates and former middle school teammates one last chance.”

Lithia Springs all-region wide receiver Davion Leslie agreed.

“I feel blessed to be able to play,” said Leslie, who led the county in receptions and receiving yards. “I’m looking forward to meeting some new friends from around the county.”

Prior to taking over as the Chapel Hill coach this season, Brad Stephens was the head coach at South Atlanta. He led the program to four state playoff berths in five seasons.

“This game gives the kids one more film they can have for recruiting,” Stephens said. “This is another opportunity for the kids to get an extra game.”

Student charged for punching teacher
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An Alexander High student was arrested for allegedly punching a teacher the last week of school before the holiday break.

Isabella Schoonover, 17, was arrested on Dec. 13 around 3 p.m. at the school and charged with simple battery on a public school employee.

She is accused of punching a male teacher in the stomach, according to an arrest warrant.

A Douglas County School System officer was called to the Alexander High old gym on campus around 2:40 p.m. in reference to an an altercation, according to an arrest warrant.

Schoonover was involved in an altercation with an assistant principal when the officer arrived at the gym, the arrest warrant stated.

According to the arrest warrant, Schoonover cursed the officer when he approached her.

As the officer attempted to “gain control” of the student, she kicked him in the legs twice, according to the arrest warrant.

“In order to gain control, I had to use force,” the officer stated in the arrest warrant.

“After getting the accused under control, I later found out that she assaulted a teacher by punching him in the stomach,” according to the arrest warrant.

Schoonover is free on $2,000 bond.