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FBMA debates Town associate admin

Discussion continued as to whether the Board would approve changing the status of the associate Town administrator from an exempt position to a classified position during the Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting Thursday, July 26.

Taking up the issue was Town attorney Thomas Hale, who cited that an exempt position serves at the pleasure of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen while a classified position, which what most of the positions in the town are, serves at the pleasure of the Town administrator. The Town administrator makes hiring decisions, discipline and termination as well.

Hale asked for this issue to be placed on the agenda prior to taking up the personnel manual item, which was listed as unfinished business.

Ford called for a motion to rescind or motions to modify actions previously taken by this with respect to the job description of the associate Town administrator.

Alderman Thomas Rosseel made a motion to amend the approved resolution of May 24 with respect to the associate Town administrator on items two, three and five.

Rosseel proposed that concerning item No. 2, that any person who has been employed by the Town for more than one year either exempt service or general service, such as the current associate Town administrator, the probationary period for classified service be waived;

No. 3: that, effective immediately, the responsibilities of the associate Town administrator include supervising engineering, community development and other duties as assigned by the Town administrator; and

No. 5: that all future associate Town administrators or deputy Town administrators be hired only by the Town administrator but with the advice of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

Vice Mayor Michael Haynes quizzed Rosseel what the language of amended item No. 2 changed.

Rosseel replied that the language would make it so that anyone who had served the Town for more than a year, such as Associate Town Administrator Gary Palmer, would not be required to complete an additional year of probation on the job.

Haynes then quizzed Rosseel’s concerning amendment to item No. 5 as to what “with the advice of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen” meant, asking for him to confirm that the language meant that the FBMA would not vote on the person to be hired.

Rosseel said that “the [associate Town administrator] position would be the same as the Town engineer, any department head, the head of Leisure Services, the head of Community Development, Public Works or administration” and would be hired by the Town administrator and not the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

“It is the decision of our Town Administrator Dan [Olson] to make,” Rosseel said. “We certainly would want to be involved in the interview process, but we shouldn’t be involved in the hiring process because I think it creates a rather confusing interaction between the associate Town administrator and the Town administrator as to whether he reports to the Board or whether he reports to the Town administrator.”

Haynes said that he was one of the people who thought that the associate Town administrator should report to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

“It is our responsibility as elected officials to choose the key leadership of the Town,” Haynes said, “I believe that the associate Town administrator is a unique position, it is different in my view than the director of Leisure Services, the director of planning, the director of Public Works. It is the No. 2 person. I do believe that as we did when we hired the first-ever associate Town administrator, Mister Palmer, that that should be a decision by the Board.”

Haynes added that after that decision had been made, the associate Town administrator should answer and serve at the pleasure of the Town Administrator.

Haynes followed with a substitute motion basically stating the ATA be hired by the Board with the assistance of the Town administrator and afterward serve as the pleasure of the Town Administrator.

The Board rejected Haynes’ motion and Rosseel’s motion was passed, with modification, 4-1.

During the Mayor’s Report, Farragut Mayor W. Edward “Eddy” Ford III said, “I am pleased to report that we had a ground breaking for a new McFee Road Park at about 5:30 this afternoon. … This was a tremendous time for the town of Farragut to proceed with a new park in the southwest quadrant of town,” Ford said.

Ford added that the park is on 26 acres and that Phase 1 of the construction will include two athletic fields, restrooms and parking for about 144 cars among other items. A $1.2 million contract for construction for the park was let to Danco Inc. “In approximately two years from now we should see folks enjoying Phase 1 of McFee Road Park,” Ford said. Upon completion of the park the town of Farragut will have parks in each quadrant of the Town. (For more on the park see Community, Page 17.)

Under new business, the Board unanimously approved a Certificate of Compliance for off-premise liquor store permit for Farragut Wine & Spirits.

The Board also agreed, with modification, to a request by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation for a voluntary registry agreement to protect Farragut wetland, which houses a rare orchid.

The Board also agreed to postpone talk concerning approval of a Weapons Ban.

On second reading three ordinances were unanimously approved by the Board. Those ordinances are as follows:

1. Ordinance 07-25: Request to abandon the right-of-way of Herron Road located between Sweet Briar subdivision and Parkside Drive, approximately 550-feet in length (Turkey Creek Land Partners, Applicant)

2. Ordinance 07-27: Request to amend the text of the Farragut Zoning Ordinance, Chapter 2, Definitions, to change the method by which building heights are calculated (Placemakers Partnership/Jerry Whitehead, Applicant)

3. Ordinance 07-28: Request for a rezoning amendment to the Planned Commercial District (PCD) for Parcel 132.03, Tax Map 142, a portion of Parcel 3.04, Tax Map 143, and a portion of Parcel 3.05, Tax Map 143, located on the south side of Kingston Pike, east side of North Fork Turkey Creek and the east side of South Campbell Station Road, 38.504 Acres, Brooklawn Center (Kroger development), to amend the original PCD designation to allow variance requests from the Town requirements as part of the approved rezoning and concept plan (Cannon & Cannon, Inc., Applicant)


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