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Mt. Juliet city commission defers vote to fill vacant seat

The Mt. Juliet City Commission deferred a vote to appoint someone to fill the District 4 seat, which has been vacant since Brian Abston resigned May 24. Before the vote, the board heard from four individuals wishing to fill the seat.

Jim Bradshaw, former city commissioner, said he enjoys being a public servant and is proud of the work he accomplished over the years as part of the board.

Gerard Bullock said he has experience making decisions for a business while representing a large number of employees, which he believes can translate well as part of the board.

Rick Rodriguez said he has worked directly and indirectly with the commissioners over the years and would be dedicated to his position if chosen to represent his district.

John Rossmaier, previously the finance director for the city, said he has experience working with the city and its budget and would do a good job if chosen to fill the seat.

The appointment was deferred and will be heard again at the July 8 meeting. If an appointment is made, they will be sworn in at the following meeting.

Before being deferred, Mayor Ed Hagerty said that he would vote no to the appointment of any candidate, not because of their qualifications but because it would be unfair to have a new commissioner unfamiliar with the city budget be forced to be a tie-breaking vote for items like the city budget.

The budget ended up passing first reading 3-1 later in the meeting, with Vice Mayor James Maness voting against. By adopting the budget, Maness said, two part-time firefighters would be laid off. Hagerty said that future additional funds could be used to create a full-time position within the fire department.

The board also approved a resolution awarding the construction contract for the Mt. Juliet clock tower, which would be built on the corner of Mt. Juliet Road and East Division Street.

A donation of $250,000 was given to the city a few years ago for the clock tower, however $175,000 went toward Robinson Park, with the permission of the donor.

An amendment to the resolution to use the remaining balance of the donated funds in addition to funds from the hotel tax, which goes toward parks, was unanimously passed. The resolution overall was approved 3-1, with Maness voting against.

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