Records obtained by Atlanta Loop show Atlanta Beltline Inc. CEO Paul Morris received a 29.6 percent increase in his base salary shortly before his future with the organization publicly came into question.
ABI’s attorney said ABI approved a new contract for Morris in June, but it had not been executed as of Aug. 21. It sets Morris’ base salary at $285,200. His contract from 2013 sets a base salary of $220,000.
Morris’ days as head of ABI may be numbered.
According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, at a recent Atlanta Commerce Club luncheon Reed said the Beltline needs a leader that is “committed to affordability as a first thought and not an after-thought.” Reed was evasive about whether he was considering firing Morris. To read the Business Chronicle story, click here.
Reed’s remarks come in the wake of a report published by the Atlanta Journal Constitution outlining how the Atlanta Beltline has failed to achieve its goals of providing affordable housing.
According to the report, Beltline officials reduced the amount of money spent on affordable housing and sought accounting changes to make its affordable housing goals more attainable. ABI was tasked with building 5,600 affordable homes. So far, it has only created 785, including 200 currently under construction, the report says.
The Beltline’s lack of focus on affordable housing prompted the departures of Ryan Gravel and Nathaniel Smith from the Atlanta Beltline Partnership board.
Gravel is the urban planner who initially proposed the concept of the Beltline. Smith is the founder of the Partnership for Southern Equity, an Atlanta nonprofit working towards balanced growth and shared prosperity in the American South.
If ABI were to terminate Morris without cause, he will be entitled to a severance worth six months of his salary. Here is a copy of the contract.