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Town ponders job description changes

Discussion about renaming a job in the community development department led to the Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen looking to reexamine all of the Town staff job descriptions.

Ruth Hawk asked that Mark Shipley’s title, community development coordinator, be changed to “assistant community development director.”

“I worked with Ruth Hawk to update the current job description to accurately portray the level of responsibility this position holds,” Town Human Resources Director Janet Curry said.

“It is truly an assistant position based on what Ms. Hawk told me,” she added.

Curry called the change a “housekeeping” measure, and designed a revised job description and salary range to accompany the new title. Curry recommended the salary range be $40,000 to $68,000.

Vice Mayor J. Michael Haynes asked what was new about the job description.

“When Ruth and I looked at this, we found the terms in the old job description were that he ‘coordinated’ things … he actually manages, he conducts meetings. He doesn’t just coordinate.

“It’s a higher function,” Curry said.

Alderman Tom Rosseel was concerned the personnel committee did not review the recommendations, as is standard.

“I’m all in favor of updating the job descriptions, but what I’m somewhat puzzled over is why this hasn’t … been reviewed by the Personnel Committee,” Rosseel said.

“I did not know the Personnel Committee was required to review this,” Curry, a new employee to the Town, said.

Mayor W. Edward “Eddy” Ford III recommended the agenda item be postponed until the Personnel Committee could review the changes, but the idea generated discussion among Board members.

“Instead of doing this piece-meal, we had talked about looking at all these job descriptions … can we get back to that?” Haynes said.

“I think if we can do this in more of a wholesale approach, it’ll be fairer to everybody and we’ll get a better idea of what we’re looking at,” he added.

“I would strongly agree with that,” Personnel Committee spokesman Gary Schmitz said.

Town administrator Dan Olson said between a third to half of Town employees were in need of job description revisions.

Rosseel asked how much time would be involved in studying all of the job descriptions for Town employees.

“We just have to establish a process to do that. It’s not an exhaustive type of thing to do,” Schmitz said.

Rosseel asked if studying salary ranges would be more intensive.

“Once the job descriptions are done, an outside consultant is normally brought in to do the salary survey,” Schmitz said.

Ford asked if Shipley’s revised job description, if approved by the Board, should be used as a template for other revisions.

Ford moved to give the description to the personnel committee, who would return with their recommendation on Shipley’s new position at the next Board meeting.

The Personnel Committee also would proceed with developing a process of evaluating all job descriptions and salary ranges.

The motion was passed unanimously.


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