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Commissioners defer budget, cut list of City Manager candidates

Kenny Howell

Managing Editor

The Board of Commissioners deferred the yearly budget, and cut the list of City Manager candidates down to four Monday evening. 

A few more amendments were added to the budget, but it was ultimately deferred to work out some issues. One of those was about a Public Works position. 

At the last meeting, two positions were eliminated in response to the scandal which saw four city employees resign and one terminated in several different departments. Commissioner Jim Bradshaw wanted to add one of those positions back in, but it failed to get a second. It was then brought up that the position of Chief Building Inspector be moved to Assistant Public Works Director, which was one of the positions that had been eliminated. 

Public Works Director Marlin Keel objected to that because he had never been consulted on the matter. The commissioners received a letter with the proposal earlier Monday afternoon. 

“I certainly wasn’t copied on that letter,” said Keel. 

Keel felt that he should be consulted on hiring matters within his department. 

“I don’t have a Chief Building Officer now,” said Keel. “I’m at a net two loss.”

Hagerty said that the positions were eliminated so that department heads could “think outside the box” on how to more effectively run their department with the less personnel. He said that the commissioners weren’t going to reinstate the positions and let business as usual continue. 

“I don’t think anyone up here is going for that,” said Hagerty. 

The amendment was dropped for more discussion before the next meeting. 

The commissioners added a few more small amendments, including adding $2,000 to the Mt. Juliet Senior Activity Center. 

At the end of the meeting, the commissioners cut the list of candidates for City Manager down to four. Before they reduced the number of candidates, Commissioners Ted Floyd and Art Giles showed their support for Interim City Manager Kenny Martin. 

“He comes highly recommended by many people,” said Floyd. 

Giles stated that things had gotten better since Martin took over as Interim City Manager. 

“It’s not just popularity, it’s productivity,” said Giles. “I’d love to be able to vote right now on Mr. Martin.”

The commissioners put number values on the candidates with 10 being the highest number they could receive. Martin received a 48 out of possible 50. The other candidates were Tony Massey, John McCue and Butch Sanders. The commissioners will review the interviews performed by MTAS to determine who they will hire for the position. 

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