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Town gears up for administrator search

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted 4-1 to approve a revised job description and a recruitment process for hiring a new Town administrator at its meeting Thursday, March 12.

Town human resources manager Janet Curry told the Board, after meeting with the personnel committee, she recommended starting a job search with Municipal Technical Advis-ory Committee.

“The beauty of M-TAS is that it’s already paid for,” Curry told the Board, which gets its funding largely from sales tax and state funding.

“M-TAS is extremely well-qualified … they’re very professional and have done a fine job,” she added.

“You are going to lead us out of our wilderness,” Mayor Eddy Ford told MTAS spokeswoman Melanie Purcell.

According to Purcell, MTAS can help the Town by sorting through applications, ranking applicants based on the Town’s own criteria, advertising and even interviewing.

The Board agreed to start with MTAS, but debated how to proceed through an election that will result in at least one new member on the Board (Jeff Elliott, who is running unopposed for Vice Mayor J. Michael Haynes’ seat).

Alderman Tom Rosseel made a motion to proceed with MTAS up to actually advertising the job vacancy, at which point the new Board would decide how to proceed.

His motion died for lack of a second.

In the end, though, that’s what the Board voted to do.

MTAS would take direction from the Board and proceed with gathering information while simultaneously, Curry would send out RFQs for search firms, in case the new Board decided to use recruiting firms in addition to, or instead of, MTAS.

“We’re just trying to maximize the time we have … by looking at the strategic process,” Curry said.

“We’re not implementing, we’re just getting the ball rolling,” she added.

The Board then approved an expanded job description for the Town administrator, containing “performance-based management practices,” according to Curry.

The four-page document outlines the essential functions, working conditions, physical requirements and education and experience, among other things, required for the job.

Alderman John Williams asked about the expansion from a one-page bulleted list to its current length.

“I like to be thorough,” Curry said.

The Board approved the description, with additions such as involvement with peer groups and other Boards, and the ability to speak well in public.

The Board also approved, on second reading, an ordinance to amend the Farragut Municipal Code with a temporary modification to the duties of the Town administrator, and to create a “budget and finance director” position.

The ordinance allows the Town to proceed with its negotiated agreement with former Town administrator Dan Olson, who will work for the Town until Aug. 15 as budget and finance director, at which time he will resign.

Only Rosseel dissented, saying the budget and finance director should report to the Town administrator, instead of to the Board, as the amendment is written.


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