In a recent flier, Rinker stated missed or was late to council meetings 90 percent of the time and that she was also among the council members who voted for a pay raise. Enterkin has also stated publicly and included on her fliers that Archibong has consistently missed council meetings or been late to them.
Rinker also has a website set up that outlines what he says is unethical behavior by Archibong and also details her alleged many absences from city council meetings.
The city convenes a panel of citizens once every four years to review the salaries of the mayor and the council. In 2004, the panel met and proposed raising the council’s pay from about $32,000 to $39,473. In March 2005, the council voted by a 9-3 margin to approve the pay raise. Archibong supported the salary increase and voted in favor of it. Rinker said via email he was referring to the 2005 vote.
The 2012 vote raised the salaries of council members from $39,473 to $60,000 and takes effect in 2014.
Archibong also sent PolitiFact Georgia attendance records that were certified by the city clerk’s office. Those records show Archibong has missed just one council meeting this year and two meetings per year in 2011 and 2012. They show she didn’t miss any council meetings in 2009 and 2010. Council records, though, raised some questions about Archibong’s punctuality.
Our review of City Council meeting minutes since the beginning of 2010 shows Archibong was either absent or not listed as present when the meeting convened about 75 percent of the time. In most cases, Archibong’s arrival time was listed about one hour after the meeting was convened. The news website East Atlanta Patch published a spreadsheet that concluded Archibong was either absent or late 78.6 percent of the time during the same time frame.
The council often hands out proclamations to citizens and visiting dignitaries at the beginning of meetings and then allows time for public comments before voting on legislation that is on its agenda. It is often 30 minutes to one hour before the council actually gets to the agenda. Most council members sit through the proclamations and public comments. Others, instead, hold sidebar conversations with their colleagues or administration officials or conduct other activities.
“I don’t sit through proclamations,” Archibong told us. “I’m at work though, because the Committee on Council precedes the full council meeting.”
The Committee on Council is a semimonthly gathering of select council members who discuss council administrative issues. The committee typically meets less than two hours before council meetings.
Was Archibong around when the council took its first vote of the day? She was nearly every time, council records show.
So, what does this mean about the accuracy of Rinker’s flier? He’s right that Archibong voted to increase her pay, but that was eight years ago. The councilwoman voted against a pay raise in 2012. This makes Rinker’s flier confusing, if not misleading.
As for her attendance record, Rinker’s number comes close to our count concerning how often Archibong is either absent or was not present when the council convened. Council records show Archibong is usually present when the council makes its first vote of the day.