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Hiram Mayor Carmen Rollins Resigns

Mayor Pro Tem Jack Paris will take over as mayor July 1.

In a special called meeting of the Hiram City Council on Tuesday, Mayor Carmen Rollins announced that she will resign her position as of July 1.

Mayor Pro Tem Jack Paris, who was not at the meeting because of health reasons, will take over for Rollins.

Because the city is in an election year, the change will not require a special election to replace Rollins.

After calling the meeting to order and reading from a prepared statement, an emotional Rollins announced her resignation and alluded to conflicts between employees and other council members that led to her decision.

As part of her prepared statement, Rollins cited a verse from the Book of Matthew: “Every city or house that stands divided against itself shall not stand.’”  

After the meeting, Rollins elaborated on her decision.

“We have some personnel issues, and basically I have been rendered unable to do my job with my employees because of votes by the council,” she said.

“There’s some conflict of interests here ... and there is a gaggle of people who have bonded together against me, and when that happens, you can’t get anything else done,” she said.

Rollins said the conflict was about a year and a half in the making and was getting “progressively worse.” Given that situation, she felt no reason to remain in the job.

“It’s a very sad day for me, and I still care very much about the city, and my business is here, and I hope that somehow people will wake up and decide to do the right thing,” she said.

Rollins initially took over in 2006 from longtime Hiram Mayor Dewey Pendley, who had fallen ill and could not complete his term. Rollins was elected to a full four-year term in November 2007.

Quoted this year regarding new census numbers that showed the city’s population had risen to more than 3,500, Rollins said Hiram had been “a little one-stop, red-light town. And now we really are somewhat of a booming metropolis."

The job of mayor has changed over the years and become a demanding, full-time position, she said.

Rollins spent her earliest days in office reorganizing the city staff and improving departmental accountability before turning to a range of streetscape and other projects in the downtown area. Rollins has also served on several boards, including the Paulding Chamber of Commerce, the Industrial Building Authority, the Airport Authority, the Meth and Family Alliance of Paulding, and the steering committee for the new WellStar Hospital.

Rollins said during the meeting that resigning now will allow Paris a window of opportunity to decide whether he wants to seek the job.

Councilman Derrick Battle said after the meeting: “It’s a sad time for the city of Hiram; hopefully, we can move forward. We’re going to miss Mayor Rollins.”

Councilwoman Teresa Philyaw expressed similar regret over the announcement. “We have a couple of people that were determined to make it impossible for her to stay. ... She’s going to be greatly missed.”

City Attorney Glen Stinson declined to comment after the meeting.

The City Council is scheduled to hold its next regular meeting Tuesday, July 12.

teresa new June 22, 2011 at 12:47 PM
I praise God for a woman who stands up for what is right. I appreciate the scripture she quoted. Truth will always stand, and God's word is truth. The city, organization, or house cannot stand when divided against itself. It certainly looks like our city has lost a strong woman of God and will feel its loss. We need to wake up. Teresa New
denise nisperly June 22, 2011 at 02:31 PM
shocked.I hope the city will succeed and will not go backwards with this loss
Linda Newsome June 22, 2011 at 07:04 PM
Politics Someone who wants to do good for the county they dont want. They want someone who will do what they tell them to do. That is Politics If I was Mrs Rollins I would Fight to the finish.
Pshooter June 23, 2011 at 02:58 PM
Clearly those who comment have never really been around the City of Hiram. This is long time in the making and she's not the only one who needs to leave. The City Attorney, Mike O'Neal, the Clerk of the city, Lt. Acree, and the joke of a K9 officer who makes benches and porches for the mayor at her house while on the job. These are just some of the people who have destroyed the city and the lives of many people around them. If I was a resident of Hiram, I'd be furious at the way the city has been ran. Many good people were ran off simply because the Mayor's inability to separate her personal feelings and the city.
Eric Anderson June 23, 2011 at 04:11 PM
I don't know the politics behind this but the Mayor always seemed like an upstanding person. From what I understand she is the major force behind the Hiram park work a few years ago which is now one of the best things that Hiram has going for it. From this outside this looks like a case of the good old boy system getting it's way. I hope that is not the case and I hope that we didn't loose a perfectly good mayor because some people can't get along. If that is the case then I hope the voters let the council know this type of childish behavior is not acceptable as they are kicked out of office next election. Please someone tell me I am mistaken and that the council was being difficult for a valid reason.
Pshooter June 23, 2011 at 04:40 PM
Eric, She is the good ol' boy system, her, the city attorney, and the rest of the crooks. I hear many of the former officers are filing EEOC complaints and a civil action suit as we speak.
Citizen June 23, 2011 at 05:03 PM
Pshooter, if you aren't a resident of the city then maybe you should leave it up to the citizens of the city to decide who they want as their Mayor. I don't know all of what has gone on in the city of Hiram, but I do know some of the opposition she is against, and knowing who they are and what their motivations are I believe that I'll stick by the Mayor. Hopefully someone will "ran" them off.
Pshooter June 23, 2011 at 06:11 PM
I agree, they should all be ran off. You're on to something there. I know the employees there, and there are maybe 2 or 3 that are decent people, the rest should be gone. As for not being a citizen, I'm so glad I'm not. I do however want people to know the truth.
Bob Bookout June 23, 2011 at 08:06 PM
Sounds like you have an axe to grind. At least be open minded until all the facts come out, and they will come out.
KARMA June 23, 2011 at 09:32 PM
The only way to know the truth behind the city is to have worked or currently working there. Its has allways been the Mayors way or no way. Shame on you Carmen for saying you are a christain when deep down you are a long way from it. I actually feel sorry for you. Karma has finially stepped in. You have ruined so many lives because you never cared about the people who worked for you or the citizens of Hiram. It was only your way. You never cared to look for the truth but took for granted that what other people told you was true. They lied. Major O'Neal, Lt. Acree, your time is coming. KARMA.
pseudonym June 24, 2011 at 02:29 AM
You are being so bold to hide behind a pseudonym. Since you are hidden, why don't you elaborate on just what it is that the people you mentioned have lied about?
Jacob Anderson June 24, 2011 at 03:46 AM
Give these people some credit. They try to do what's right even though they have no idea how to manage and operate a city. The effort is there, and the job is difficult. How much can you really expect from people like a police Major that doesn't have a high school diploma? Bless their hearts.
dusti June 24, 2011 at 03:56 AM
Now I am getting an idea as to why Hiram PD blew me off when I tried to file an officer complaint. Hhhmmm. Funny how things work out.
dusti June 24, 2011 at 03:58 AM
no high school diploma? you are joking, right?
pseudonym June 24, 2011 at 04:03 AM
how is the police department involved in the mayor's resignation?
Troy June 24, 2011 at 07:50 AM
Everything. The only reason the city exists is for the police department, and they do that real badly. Most of the time, we have two officers on duty. If it's day shift, usually one (especially the K9 guy) sits at the PD all day long. Other than building benches, no one knows for sure what he does. Think about the safety issue with having only one guy buy himself on a call all the way at Nebo and Dallas Nebo, and Mr. K9 has to respond all the way from the PD or ChickFila? And yes, the so called Major flunked high school...you can find him at ChickFila several times a day. So to answer your question: When you have over a dozen people turn over at the police department in the last 20 months or so, there is a serious problem. The ones who stay here have prior POST investigations, or are fat / lazy can't get a job anywhere. The good ones are run off because people like the Major are terrified of them. Oh, and there is this issue with the new guys from College park being hired on at a higher wage than some that have been there for years when the new chief came from College Park. Sigh. Let's hope this has nothing to do with the stolen Glock issue.
Citizen June 24, 2011 at 12:55 PM
Having had a family member who has had several run ins with the Hiram police department over the last couple years I can say that either the above statements are blatant lies, or every time I've dealt with the Hiram police department I've been lucky to see a professional well staffed organization. Each time my family member has been arrested by the Hiram police there were 2 cars in response. So I'm going to assume they didn't just send the only 2 cars on duty to arrest one person. And as for complaining about the lack of officers on day shift, when do you think most of the crime and drunk driving take place? Probably not at noon on a Tuesday. I have lived in and near Hiram for many years, and I have never had an issue with slow police response. I also see them very regularly doing traffic patrols around busy areas.
Hiram Citizen June 24, 2011 at 05:29 PM
Here is some information that you probably don't know: 1.) Mayor Rollins impeded an investigation into the Pawn Shop that her and her husband own, and personally reassigned the detective investigating the case. The allegation was the pawn shop was receiving stolen property. All documents mysteriously disappeared. You may remember the embarassing expose' on Fox 5 news. The stolen property was a Glock that was stolen from Alpharetta and sold in the Pawn Shop the same day, which is illegal under Georgia law. 2.) Major O'neal propelled himself to stardom in the Hiram PD by doing absolutely nothing. Officer statistics are public record, and if you pull his from before he became a supervisor, you would see very few arrests, citations, or anything else, other than 2 free meals a day from Chik-Fil-A. It's no wonder that there is widespread corruption emminating from the ranks of the PD. 3.) The city has been so poorly mismanaged that it is facing 3 multi-million dollar law suits from previous employees that could potentially bankrupt the city. Even if none of the law suits pay out, just defending them could cost millions. However, 2 of the 3 law suits have significant merit. The mayor's personal crusade could end up costing the residents of Hiram they're low taxes and limit the services the city provides. All of you that say that the city will miss the Mayor, I beg to differ. We will not miss her at all, and will be paying for her short term as mayor for many years to come
Valene Ketchum June 25, 2011 at 12:48 AM
My husband was reading all the comments to me tonight and I can say that it didnt take long for me to get on here and share my opinion. First of all I will miss Mayor Rollins she is a great Christian women and everything a good politician should be. For the comments about the police I find half of them funny and the rest anger me. I havent been in Hiram long but I have been very involved in the community and can honestly say I dont remember meeting any of you. Probably because you havent been to any Council Meetings since I moved here just a year ago or any of the community cleanups. I find it funny that everyone has an opinion but no one seems to be involved. Oh sure you show up to vote every election and have no problem throwing out false rumors in general conversation. How much time do you really spend researching the candidates that you vote in to office? It angers me everytime I show up to vote and half the people have no idea who is on the ballet and what they stand for. But you will be the first to shake your finger at them when they dont do what you want. I would like to share a few facts about Hiram that may surprise you. Fact #1 Hiram is one of the only city's in Ga. to have had a surplus last year. Is that because of Mayor Rollins? Fact #2 The Major is not on any admistrative leave. Just ask him when you run into him at "Chik-Fil-A" in his uniform.
Valene Ketchum June 25, 2011 at 12:51 AM
I think Hiram is a great place to live. No it doesnt have four star restaraunts or grand hotels but it has what I need. All I can say if you dont like it then show up to a meeting every once in a while. Get involved in the community. And stop complaining so much about things you dont know anything about.
Michael June 25, 2011 at 02:37 AM
A good "christian?" What exactly does that have to do in politics? Remember separation of church and state? This city just kills me. I think a comment earlier really pinned it. I've met a lot of the employees at Hiram, and while many of them mean well, and there are certainly some great people, the general management is horrific to say the least. Is it any wonder that there are so many problems with turn over when you have no one in administration with a degree? The mayor? Nope....no college. The city clerk? Nothing. Jody the ops manager? Nothing. The police chief that left College Park under bizarre circumstances has a masters in public administration from some online place. How about Acree? Yup, fired from Temple.... (what a shock that the last drug raid was a failure where someone tipped them off...) The Major? Yup, Mr. O'Neal doesn't even have a high school diploma. None of these guys do. And yet, you can't run the Best Buy without a degree from an accredited school. Why are we ok with substandard officers and employees serving us? And yes, they do in fact have two guys on. The schedule, applications, background, POST records, dispatch logs, and nearly everything else is public record. Don't take my word for it. And yes, we have a park. Fantastic. It's a nice park, it really is.
Valene Ketchum June 25, 2011 at 03:46 AM
I dont understand how you can say that people without a college degree are substandard. I thought we lived in America? My America is where people from the lowest, and poorest circumstances can come from nothing and be successful. The last I checked a college degree doesnt get you anywhere any more. I know guys with a four year degree and make less than the waitress at Waffle House. But what do I know Im just a stay at home mom who has decided to raise my children myself. I find it funny that you say you have met these people but yet all you can point out is that they dont have a college degree. I myself know these people and when I met them the last thing on my mind was they arent educated enough to work for the city of Hiram. Michael which college did you graduate from? Im sure you are making 100,000 a year and is running a successful company. I mean why else would you be putting down the working man trying to better their situation? As for the Mayor I was just pointing out that I respect that she is a Christian and chose a job that is known for liars and cheaters. Maybe some people would prefer the lying and cheating to a praying woman? But like I said Im just a stay at home mom. What do I know?
Jeff Jeffson June 28, 2011 at 05:30 AM
Valene, although a college degree may not be important to you, as is an indication by the way you express yourself. But as you may know, a city government is more or less a business. You must know business and understand how a good business should operate before you try to operate one. Although any idiot can run a business, to run a successful business, you must have knowledge, training, and experience. You can not manage an organizations and members therein without any management skills. There is a reason why you can not hold a management position within a business such as The Home Depot without having college level education. Yes, you are correct, the mayor can read the bible and we all proud of her. But now, can she operate and manage an organization? The answer is clearly NO! Yes, Major Fat Ass (I mean O'Neal) can wear a uniform and show up to work. But can he manage a department of the organization? The answer is once again NO! Yes, he may look nice, sweet, or even sexy in his uniform (which if you are a Waffle House Cocktail Waitress, you may find those qualities in him), but he is not a manager. Yes, being a stay at home mother and running across these bozos at some community clean up or some meeting, when they are trying to hide their true self from the general public does not give you the full story. Let me give you this, Major O'Neal can not even spell Alco-Sensor, a devise used regularly by a police department.
SmallTownLwyr July 01, 2011 at 07:08 PM
Wow, I just came across this after some of our finest told me that apparently this commander or something Acee or Acree (I think) has been telling the employees that he's getting a search warrant to find out who is posting here. This smells of Nazi Germany. Anyone who thinks a college education isn't important should come see one of the Hiram municipal court days or even a council meeting. Great entertainment.
Becki Rogers August 17, 2011 at 09:15 PM
I don't know enough about the situation to comment on specifics - but I do agree that a college degree isn't really necessary as long as the proper skills are present in a person. Those skills can be accumulated over time and experiences. I do not have a college degree but have very successfully managed several different businesses in different industries. I also want to point out that I find it very humorous that Mr. Jeff Jefferson misspelled the word device while pointing out the Major's inability to spell correctly....

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