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Board postpones Town Admin. search

A decision on the recruitment process for a new Town Administrator was postponed to allow Board of Mayor and Aldermen members to “get their ducks lined up” and all be present for the decision.

With Alderman Bob Markli absent at the June 25 BOMA meeting, the Board was presented with statistical summaries of characteristics Board members had ranked important for the new TA to possess.

“This is really more to get a gist so we can start and put out the advertisement,” Melanie Purcell, Municipal Technical Advisory Service, said of the summary, generated at a recent workshop session.

In fact, she was slightly concerned about a wide disparity in opinion on certain characteristics such as public relations, where members of the Board voted it both most and least essential.

Purcell said she would “emphasize areas where there was very concrete agreement,” or where all Board members consistently ranked a characteristic very high or very low.

“What it demonstrates for me is that there are areas of very definite consensus and values that are important to the Board, which allows you to go forward with your selection.

“You all will have very different opinions and very different perspectives on every candidate in front of you,” Purcell said.

“It’s about fit, who is really right for Farragut,” she added.

It was important, Purcell said, that the Board unanimously agree to hire any future Administrator.

“A mixed vote does not always bode well. It frequently implies there is a difference of perspective and vision for the community from the leadership,” she added.

Purcell also asked the Board how they wished to proceed with the recruitment process.

“Part of what I wanted to do was come back to you and talk about where we go from here,” Purcell said.

Previous Boards had discussed the pros and cons of conducting a search in-house, through MTAS or through a recruiting consultant or head-hunter.

“Our options have changed only very recently and I’m not sure everyone has had time to fully contemplate all the details,” Mayor Ralph McGill said.

“I’m in favor of postponing this discussion,” he added.

“Given Alderman [Bob] Markli’s absence, I would [make a motion] to postpone,” Alderman John Williams said.

Williams so moved and Alderman Jeff Elliott seconded. The discussion most likely will be picked up at the Board’s second meeting in July.


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