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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Jim Young Reporter Most read stories from 2016

The following are links to the 5 most read stories since I started the blog in April.  These 5 stories alone were viewed well over 26,000 times.

1) Rod Shoap resigns Politics to blame?

2) City Security Video captures councilmen's altercation.

3)  Long Planned Indoor Water Rec Center Referendum Expected on November Ballot (It did not make it on the ballot)

4) Former city manager Rutherford says decision to hire Shoap as chief led to his dismissal.

5) Man thrilled with 3D printed prosthetic finger made by recent SHMS grad

Thanks for reading in 2016!

YEAR IN REVIEW Part 2: In local politics, 2016 was the year of the sign...

Continued from PART 1

With the upcoming city election, a number of candidates began to qualify for the race and the city continued to take applications for the position of city manager. Councilman Pete Souza announced he would not seek reelection to the council. One popular place for political signs turned out to be the property across the street from city hall that belongs to Wendell Kerley, a former councilman and father to Jerry Kerley and grandfather to councilman Jesse Kerley. Following the August county general election, a sign popped up concerning Mr. Souza's run for tax assessor.

Many of the 2016 city election political signs were the kind you would expect at the link here.

As the campaign continued, signs in favor of J. H. Graham appeared in the yard across from city hall belonging to Wendell Kerley. They were substantially different from the signs at the same location only 2 years before when Graham was defeated in election for mayor of Crossville.
Kerley property signs in July 2014
"Some things are meant for extinction"
Kerley property signs supporting Graham

Then, at the end of September, an incident occurred that included the theft of political signs at the Mockingbird Drive property. As the theft took place, a neighbor caught part of the incident on video and was able to get a tag number of the pickup truck involved.

Video capture of Mockingbird Dr. sign theft

The district attorney took over the investigation and suspects were established that included Jerry Kerley, the director of water resources for the city of Crossville and father of councilman Jesse Kerley. The second man involved was identified as William Harwell who works at the Crossville airport. Investigation by this reporter discovered security video from the airport showed just before and just after the sign theft incident that the truck in question left from the airport and then returned to the airport. District attorney Bryant Dunaway confirmed that the stolen signs were recovered at the city owned airport.

In mid October, possibly the strangest sign story of the year came about when city council candidate J. J. Brownstead discovered several of his large political signs were missing and when he reported them stolen he was very surprised to be told someone else had reported them stolen. That person turned out to be councilman Jesse Kerley who tried to claim that the signs had come from his father's property off of Vanderver Road.

It turned out that the Cumberland Co. Sheriff's department had picked up the signs until the matter could be straightened out. This was surprising to Brownstead who knew that the signs had been repainted after they came from councilman Pete Souza's garage. Councilman Kerley had also submitted a list of “suspects” who he suspected of stealing the signs that included Mr. Brownstead, councilman Souza and this reporter among others.
It took 3 days, but the signs were then returned to Mr. Brownstead who put them back up.

Just over a week before the November election as early voting was coming to a close, an incident occurred in Crossville on the courthouse lawn when a man who said he was tired of the politics walked through the signs that had been posted kicking them and knocking them down. The man was taken into custody and charged with damage to the signs.
State Rep Cameron Sexton inspects sign damage

Then, just few days after the election, the political signs got very ugly. Two signs were set up, one on Lantana Rd, and the other in front of Kroger.

And after the election again, the case against Jerry Kerley and William Harwell made it to court and both men took pre-trial diversion on the charges and agreed to serve 6 months probation, pay fees and court costs.

In early December it was revealed that the city had agreed to drop all charges against J. R. Blankenship for his “unsigned fliers” and the removal of the section of the city ordinances he was charged under was unanimously approved by the new city council. The charges can not be brought back up and the $1500 fine assessed against Blankenship was set aside.

We may yet here more news about signs in the new year. Stay tuned.

YEAR IN REVIEW Part 1: In local politics, 2016 was the year of the sign...

(Editor's note: 2016 was one of the strangest years politically in this reporters over 30 years of covering Crossville. A popular city manager was removed, a popular police chief resigned, two council members were caught on video in an altercation leading to charges that were eventually dismissed. In addition, a city department head was charged with theft of property while reportedly on city time and the stolen items recovered from the city airport. This city employee reportedly received no reprimand for his action. While new members of city council may make the council meetings less volatile, there are leftovers from 2016 that the city will have to deal with into 2017.)

In Crossville, 2016 will go down as the year of the sign. This was especially true in the matters of city politics. Political signs made news numerous times during the year and lead to anger and even criminal charges and threatened criminal charges.

Signs promoting the recall efforts against Crossville city council members Danny Wyatt and Pamala Harris began to pop up along city streets in late April and early May. Some of those signs contained caricatures of both Wyatt and Harris being given the hook as they danced on a stage. In April, Harris described the signs as disturbing to see at first, but after looking at them she had to laugh as the signs really seemed pretty silly.

Signs posted by those seeking recall of city council members Wyatt and Harris

A new set of signs began to show up at the May regular city council meeting when a local resident named J. R. Blankenship set up a sign in the back of his pickup truck concerning actions by councilman Jesse Kerley. Blankenship was unhappy at what he felt was an effort by councilman Kerley against him personally that led to charges for distributing “unsigned fliers” in Crossville and Kerley efforts to have him arrested for other charges.  After Blankenship appealed the fine on the fliers the charges and fines were dropped.  More details on that in The Year in Review Part 2.

A different sign showed up at council meetings for a number of months. In addition, a series of signs were put up in front of the house on Mockingbird Drive where Blankenship and his mother lived. The political signs ultimately led to more problems including eventual theft charges against Jesse Kerley's father Jerry Kerley and William Harwell who spoke up at one council meeting against the political signs including the ones on Mocking bird land. Both Jerry Kerley and Harwell took pre-trial diversion on the charges and were to serve 6 months probation.

One of the biggest stories of 2016 apparently had its roots in political signs. The alleged altercation between two council members following a work session meeting that was caught on tape included references to councilman Souza's alleged work on Blankenship's signs. Both Souza and Blankenship said they did not collaborate on the signs and that the signs were entirely done by Mr. Blankenship.

Eventually the assault charges filed against Mr. Kerley by Mr. Souza from the incident went to trial and the charges were dismissed in general session court.

In mid June the recall efforts against council members Wyatt and Harris were withdrawn.

There were a few positive signs during the year including the one posted in late July by a local church indicating they were praying for the Mayor and the city of Crossville.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

First Crossville city council work session of 2017 set for January 3 at 5 PM

The first council meeting of the new year comes on January 3 as the council meets in work session in preparation for the regular January meeting a week later.  The meeting will be in room 317, the third floor conference room.

Among the items to be discussed are a proposed special city census, more on the city manager selection process, the shooting sports park and solid waste collection.

During their December meeting the council approved a motion to amend the budget to fund a special census during the coming year. Previous census work has been performed by Dave Warner who previously served on the council and ran for election in November. Warner has been invited to discuss the census with the council and offer some suggestions.

New council member Scot Shanks wants to hire a new city manager sooner rather then later. He will be leading a discussion with the council on a process for interviewing and selecting a new city manager.

With plans for construction to start on the proposed shooting sprots park sometime after March 2017, the council must approve a lease and operating agreement with a non-profit organization that is going to run the operation of the park. That organization is now being formed and the agreements will be on the agenda. A work session on the park was held recently (LINK) with the council and County Mayor Kenneth Carey.

The council will start discussion of the future of solid waste collection for the city. The current contract with Cumberland Waste Disposal expires in August of 2017 and the city has to decide if they want to bid out the contract again or take the collection of solid waste back in-house. There are some issues that need to be resolved before the city can make the decision but a direction will need to be chosen soon so that specs for a contract can be developed or equipment purchased and employees hired.

Also at the work session the council will hear a report on the animal shelter from the group FOCCAS that wants to raise some $500,000 to build a new shelter, a proposal from Butch Smith and Forbus Investments to purchase about 7 acres in the Interchange Business Park for $25,000 an acre and a request for directional signs to Lake Tansi Resort from the property owners association.   

BREAKING NEWS: David Beaty may return as Crossville police chief

Former Crossville police chief David Beaty has been recommended as regular Police chief by an interview committee that interviewed Beaty, current Crossville interim Chief Mark Rosser and Rockwood police chief Danny Wright.

According to interim city manager Steve Hill, A meeting with Beaty will be scheduled next week after the holiday to see if Beaty accepts the city's offer.  Hill added that nothing is final until until Beaty accepts the offer.

The Crossville department has gained ground and state accreditation under interim chief Rod Shoap and then upon Shoap's resignation six months ago, interim chief Mark Rosser in the two years since Beaty left.  

Shoap resigned following the city's failure to hire him to the regular position after he felt local politics had a hand in the decision to keep delaying action on his hiring.   Shoap has since filed an unfair employment complaint against the city with the EEOC.   

David Beaty

In late 2014, Beaty took an early retirement buyout offer receiving standard retirement benefits and a 6 month salary in a lump sum as well as bridge health insurance until Medicare eligibility.  Beaty received a lump sum of $34,734 at the time of his retirement in early 2015.  

Beaty served as Crossville police chief for some 19 years prior to taking the early retirement buyout. At the time there was a question about whether another department member being ready to take over as chief, leading to the hiring of Shoap, who had served many years in law enforcement in the Ft. Myers Florida area.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

City, County and TWRA continuing to move forward on Shooting Sports Park

The Crossville city council met in a work session to discuss the proposed shooting sports park proposed to be located on the city's Dorton landfill property with construction expected to take place in 2017.

The program was brought to the city some 18 months ago by county mayor Ken Carey who said that the TWRA would fund the construction and the land form the city was needed to locate the park on. The work session brought some additional details on the program and the need for the city to be willing to lease the land needed for the project to a non-profit group that is currently being established.

Cumberland County mayor Kenneth Carey, left, talks about plans for the
Shooting Sports Park while city council members Danny Wyatt, center, 
and Pamala Harris, left, listen

Carey started the meeting stating that he and the council were there to “take the old landfill site and make it a tourist destination.” Carey said the matter had been brought to the council several times and council had given their blessing. According to Carey, the funding agencies for the the $2.2 million including federal and state funds have decided that they would be more comfortable with a lease by the city to the non-profit entity that would revert to the city should the park cease to operate.

The funds for the project come from federal Pittman-Robertson funding generate by excise tax on ammunition and granted to states for conservation efforts, hunter's education and shooting projects and programs.

Preliminary plan for local Shooting Sports Park.

Council member Pam Harris asked about potential liability if the city retains ownership of the property and leases it. City attorney Will Ridley said they have discussed putting an indemnification clause in the lease requiring them to maintain a certain amount of insurance.

Councilman J. H, Graham asked about the budget for the non-profit operation and details on the kind of market they would be attempting to reach. Carey said that the budget would be determined once the facility was up and going. The market would include shooting sports such as trap shooting, skeet shooting, sporting clays and pistol competitions.

A large turnout for the city work session on the Shooting Sports Park plans

According to Carey the local facility is being modeled after a similar facility in Carroll County that has pistol teams come from as far away as Texas and Florida. The facility would also allow the hosting of regional and state competitions because of the size of the facility. Carey added that the teams here travel as far as Illinois and Ohio for competitions.

The facility would also benefit local law enforcement. Interim police chief Mark Rosser said that the city has a facility at Meadow Park Lake but they have not spent any money there lately based on the possibility of the new facility. Rosser said the facility includes a paved area and range house but any additions have been put off.

Questions on funding and staffing remain somewhat of a question. Carey said they would determine if a full time position was needed or if all employees would be part-time. The grant requires that the facility be open at least 20 hours a week. According to Carey the plan is for the range to be open more then that and open to the public. He added it is not a membership type facility and that anyone can come a shoot.

Carey said that local shooters have done well in competition and some has aspirations to be on the Olympic team. He pointed out that some of the shooters have to go as far as Nashville to practice one type of discipline now and the practice required make that kind of travel difficult.

According to city attorney Ridley, the plan is for a draft of the agreement to be on the agenda for the January council meeting.

Mayor Carey said in addition to attracting tourists and having a place for locals to enjoy that his ultimate goal is to hopefully attract a gun related industry to locate near the shooting sports park such as a firearms manufacturer.

Link to complete discussion on the topic. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Palace Theatre to host free screening of new PBS series Victoria January 7

Crossville Palace Theatre will host a free preview screening of the new PBS TV series Victoria on Saturday January 7 at 1 PM.  The Event is free but requires tickets for admission.

The Victoria series premiers on WCTE January 15 as part of Masterpiece Theater

Tickets are available through the WCTE-TV web site and this link.  Once you order the tickets online you can print them out yourself easily.

The eight-part drama follows Victoria from the time she becomes Queen in 1837 at the age of 18, through her courtship and marriage to Prince Albert. Famous for her candor and spirit, she was the first woman who seemed to have it all: a passionate marriage, nine children, and the job of being Queen of the world's most important nation. Victoria's often tumultuous reign lasted for 63 years; she was England's longest-serving monarch until she was overtaken by Elizabeth II in September, 2015.

No action taken by Crossville city council on request for CCHS football field funding

Crossville city council took no action on a request for help with funding for repairs to the Cumberland County High School (CCHS) football field.

The request was discussed at the council's November meeting, and a motion was approved that the County be contacted about sharing the cost of the project and the matter to come back to the council in December.

CCHS principal Jon Hall returned to the council's December meeting and said that neither the board of education or the county had funds available for the project. Hall explained that he had donations secured for $20,000 toward the $100,000 to $120,000 project plus the donation of fuel should the contractor be a local company.

CCHS Principal Jon Hall addresses the council.

Hall said he had found a possible grant through the National Football League that could fund up to $100,000 but requires a 50 percent local match guarantee. Hall said they project met the criteria but he would need a commitment for the match before he could submit the grant. He added that he had spoken to two other potential donors and expected to hear back on those after they took the requests to their boards.

Mayor James Mayberry asked about funding from the board of edcuation and Hall explained that they were prioritizing the Crab Orchard school project and roofs for North and South elementary schools. “Our small project is way down their list,” explained Hall who added that those project should take precedence.

The project is to fix drainage problems on the field and to replace all the drainage lines under the field, repair the retaining wall, removing slopes down to the field to add drainage basins. Hall said the irrigation system also needs replaced.

Mayor Mayberry said he was concerned with the number of elementary schools and two high schools and said, “If the city gets involved in this project, whats the next project for the next school going to be?” Mayberry praised Hall's work in seeking other donations from businesses and corporations but he was uncomfortable with the city funding a project for one school.

Mayberry called for a motion and none was made by the council and the council moved to the next agenda item.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Crossville, well dressed for the holidays, Christmas lights and more.

A beautiful but chilly night Thursday night 12-22-2016, but the city Christmas lights were bright and even the stop lights flashed red and green!

Scroll to the bottom for a little bit of sounds of the season!
(All photos and video (C) 2016 by Jim Young)

The street lights become stars on Watertank Hill

The Crossville welcome sign on Watertank Hill is well decorated

Christmas lights line Main Street courtesy of the city and 
the courthouse tower is lighted as well.

The Courthouse tower is the standout feature 
in the Crossville skyline.

Crossville city hall is also decorated for Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

The Community Band from the Friday at the Crossroads in December.

More Christmas photos of Crossville

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Merry Christmas from Jim Young Reporter!

Some of the sights of Christmas around Crossville!

All Photos Copyright 2016 by Jim Young
Christmas Lights with the Cumberland Co. Courthouse

The Palace Theatre decked out for the holidays.

Stone Museum building on the Courthouse lawn lighted for Christmas

City Council approves health insurance for city judge and city attorney

UPDATE: According to interim city manager Steve Hill, Blue Cross has approved insurance for both positions to be added to the group health plan and the insurance will be effective January 2017. 

The only city council action from the December regular meeting that was not a unanimous vote was the proposal to provide health insurance benefits to city judge Ivy Gardner and city attorney Will Ridley.

The matter was brought to the council by member Danny Wyatt who moved that the resolution be adopted to request that the city's health insurance provider consider the city judge and city attorney as a special category for health insurance coverage. Wyatt said that if the motion passes, the city won't know if they are accepted until the company gets back to the city.

Wyatt's motion received a second from council member Pamala Harris.

Council member Scot Shanks asked for clarification about the action saying that currently only employees who worked over 30 hours a week were eligible for health insurance. Mayor James Mayberry said that the decision to cover or not would be up to Blue Cross.

Crossville city attorney Will Ridley

City attorney Will Ridley said that the resolution classifies the two positions differently then any other contract appointed employee or board member. Ridley stressed that the action would affect him but he was not lobbying one way or the other on the council's vote.

Mayor Mayberry said, “I've seen the attorney's bills and I think he is doing fine and can afford his own insurance.” Mayberry continued that there were several who applied for the judge position and a pay scale was posted at the time. He also pointed out that the pay had been increased with the new new term appointment from $15,000 a year to $20,000 a year.

Crossville city judge Ivy Gardner

“I think the compensation is satisfactory,” added Mayberry, “and I'm not supporting this.”

A roll call vote was called with Mayberry and Shanks voting opposed to the measure. Council members Wyatt, Harris and Graham voted in favor and the motion passed.

Video of health insurance discussion 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Upper Cumberland Business Journal article on Kerry plant expansion.

MAYLAND – Cumberland County officials this week shared a bit of good news to round out 2016 with the announcement of a $13.3 million investment to expand a long-time business in the western Cumberland County community of Mayland.
The plant, now known as Kerry, opened in 1972 as Hickory Specialties and manufactures a variety of liquid smoke food flavorings. It was acquired by Kerry Group PLC of Ireland in 2001.

Link to Kerry expansion article in the Upper Cumberland Business Journal.

Crossville council approves property tax freeze program available for those over 65

The Crossville city council approved a provision to provide a property tax freeze for senior citizens who meet income limits meaning that if the eligible property owner properly files each year, their property tax bill would not increase.

The matter was brought to the council's agenda by council member J. H. Graham III who outlined the change in state Constitution that was approved by voters statewide several years ago. Mr. Graham explained that the state comptrollers office would calculate the income limit each year for the county and that in the case of improvements to a property, the value of the improvements would be taxed.

Graham said he knocked on a lot of doors running for election and said “most of the folks that were over 65 on fixed income would really appreciated this.” Graham moved to adopt the resolution to put the property tax freeze into effect. Graham's motion received a second from councilman Danny Wyatt.

Councilman Scot Shanks questioned city finance director Fred Houston about how the program would be administered and how the city could handle that? Houston explained that the process would be difficult but that they could do it if they have to. HE said the taxes for those under the freeze would have to be done manually and not on the computer as most taxes are calculated. According to Houston, the more that take advantage of the more work it will be.

Houston added that the participant will have to come in each year to prove their income falls under the limit set and if for some reason they skip a year they could reapply but the freeze would be at the new tax rate if it had changed since they first applied for the freeze.

Councilwoman Pamala Harris said that she knew it would be work to set up at first but that “we need to serve our community the best way that we can.”

It was agreed that the program would not become an issue unless the council approved a tax increase.

The motion was approved unanimously.

New applicants for Crossville city manager include 2 who previously held the position

4 new City Manager applicants, including two former Crossville city managers have added their names to the applicant pool, now with a total of 38 names for consideration.

Former city manger applicants include the most recent regular city manager David Rutherford as well as former city manager Dan Collins who served as Crossville city manager between October 1993 and January 1997. In addition, two Crossville candidates

David Rutherford of McMinnville Tennessee who served as the last regular Crossville city manager but was dismissed by the previous make up of the city council. Rutherford's cover letter says, “Now that the dynamic of the city council has changed since the election, I would like to be considered for city manager.” Rutherford served as Crossville city manager from September 2013 to April 2016. Prior to that Rutherford served as city administrator at McMinnville from April 2007 to August 2013. He has numerous additional years of experience.

Robert “Dan” Collins another former Crossville city manager currently lives in Troutville Virginia where he serves as a resident engineer for Virginia Department of Transportation for Roanoke, Salem and Vinton, VA. Collins has a Master's degree in applied organization management. He served as city manager at Martinsville VA from July 2004 to April 2007, a city with a population of 16,000 and a budget of $94 million. Collins has also served as city manager at Moberly MO, Smyrna and Elizabethton TN and Buena Vista VA.

Tommy Biddix of Black Mountain NC was an intelligence Analyst for the US Army from 2006 to 2012 and has an Masters of Public Administration from Western Carolina University. More recent experience Biddix served as Assistant purchasing supervisor at Warren Wilson College, administrative planner for Brook KY and equipment coordinator/purchasing for Asheville/Buncombe Technical College.

Michael Hudson of Whitwell TN is currently an intelligence analyst for the FBI in Nashville. Hudson has a BS in political Science/public administration from UT Chattanooga. Hudson served as County Executive for Sequatchie County from 2007 to 2011 and as a county commissioner there from 2006-07. Other experience includes work for the IRS, Homeland Security-TSA and Cigna.

In addition, applicant and former interim police chief Rod Shoap has withdrawn his name for consideration as has Bill Atkinson of Crossville.

It is unclear if new candidates will be submitted to MTAS before a decision on interviews is made.

Previous applicants include:
Calvin Anderson of Coconut Florida currenlty serves a VP and chief audit executive of internal audit business consulting. He's held that position since 2014. Prior to that he served as director and chief internal auditor of the Ghazi District Council in Botswana South Africa. He holds an MPA and a BS in Accounting from Long Island University.
Terence Arrington of Greenville SC whose last job is county administrator for Darlignton Co. South Carolina. Arrignton served in that position from 1-2015 through 8-2016. Arrington has a Masters of Public Administration and is working toward and MBA. He has government experience since 2011 including deputy city administrator of Salisbury MD from 1-2014 to 1-2015.
James E. Ayers II of Asheville NC currently serves as the general services director of Asheville, a position he has held since October 2014. Prior Ayers served as assistant town manager and director of engineering and public works of Bluffton SC from 2008 to 2014. He holds a Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University and a BS in Engineering from Vanderbilt.

Wayne R. Bodie of Orlando Florida currently serves as a captain in the Orange Co. fire and rescue department. He has worked for the department since 2005. Bodie holds an MBA and also works as a fire instructor. He has previous experience in financial services.

Robert G. Bray, Jr. of Pinellas Park Florida is seeking the position after retiring as the Community Planning Director for Pinellas Park Florida between 1995 and 2016.  Prior to that Bray had additional planning experience from 1985-95.  He also has a Masters of Public Adminsitration.  

Carl Brown of Tampa Florida is currently the senior financial analyst for the City of Tampa Florida and has held that position since June 2015. He oversees the fire department and police department budgets. From July 2014 to June 2015 he was a budget and management analyst for the Department of Homeland Security at Santa Fe New Mexico. Mr. Brown has a Masters of Public Administration in city management, economic development and urban planning from East Tennessee State University. He was an actor in Los Angles for 11 years.

David R. Burkett of Apple Valley CA currently serves as the project construction manager of Hesperia CA, a position he's held since 2005.  Previously he served as a project engineer for Yucca Valley CA and he has a BS in Business and Public Administration from University of Phoenix.

Micah Chappell of Moscow Idaho serves as building official for the city of Moscow ID. From 2007 to 20013 he served as supervising building inspector and Sr. plans examiner at Big Bear Lake California. Chappell holds a BS in Administration and Management from Columbia Southern University.  

Mike Chesney of Knoxville holds an MBA and is currently the administrator of the First Baptist Church of Morristown. The church has 70 employees and $3.1 million budget. From 2013 to 2015, Chesney served as the interim city manager of Millington Tennessee. Prior experience included many years of telecommunications and cable management.

Cary Colaianni of Eagle Idaho holds a masters in public administration as well as a Doctor of Jurisprudence (Law degree). Mr. Colaianni has 20 years of experience in municipal government including from 2004 to 2014 as the city attorney and law department director for Bosie Idaho. The department had 51 employees. From 1991 to 2004, he served as the Ada County prosecuting attorney in Bosie Idaho.

Steve Foote of Dunwoody Georgia serves that community as the Director of Economic and Community Development. He has served in that capacity as the employee of a contractor starting in 2014 and now as a direct employee of the city. Previously Foote served as director of planning for Mt. Juliet Tennessee from 2009 to 2014. Foote's education includes a BS in Geography and Biology and graduate work toward an Masters in Geography.

Bobby Goney of Crossville is a registered nurse that has worked in intensive care for the last several years, curently in Sparta and prior for Cumberland Medical Center. He holds an MBA in healthcare administration. In addition, Goney has previous experience in banking and accounting.

Jason Hall of Lyons Georgia where he has served as the current city manager since april of 2013. His previous experience includes serving as city administrator of Varnell Georgia between 2011 and 2013 and a codes enforcement officer for Ringgold Georgia from 2004 to 2011. Hall has an associates degree in education and additional course work in business management

Steven Hicks 
of Orlando Florida who previously worked as chief compliance officer for MasterCorp, Inc. 
Steve Hill, currently serving in the position of interim city manager after taking early retirement as the city's parks and recreation director in 2015. Hill has a BS in Business Administration from Tennessee Tech.
Frank Horvath of Crossville whose resume lists his current position as business and project manager of Crossville Smiles since January 2013. Mr. Horvath holds an MBA from University of Indianapolis and previously worked as project manager for SciSaves, LLC

James Hubbard of Bedford Texas currently serves and the assistant to the city manager at Colleyville Texas. Hubbard has held that position since January 2016 and prior to that served as the city's parks manager and a management analyst. He holds a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Lane Hayden Jones of Bonham Texas served as the deputy chief of staff-CEO of business operations for the Marine Corps community services for Camp Pendleton California. He currently works as a business analyst for the firm of Mason, Norris & Associates.
Daron E. Jordan of Madisonville Kentucky serves as that city's community development director, a position he has held since 2005. He holds a masters degree in organizational management, is a certified economic developer and also operates a consulting firm that specializes in grant writing and administration.

Bert Kenyon of Crossville currently operates Bert Kenyon & Associates, a consulting firm. Kenyon's previous employment includes Sr. VP of Yard World from 2008 to 2013 in Springville Utah. Kenyon has many years of sales and marketing experience and college classes in engineering and business.

Holly Lockhart of Holly Springs NC currently works as an inside sales representative for Boon Adams where she has worked since 2014.  She has experience in sales, consulting and insurance. She holds a Masters in Public Administration and her cover letter says she would consider negotiating a lower salary because she does not have the years experience requested.  

Catrina Maxwell of Milwaukee Wisconsin currently serves as the deputy clerk of the court for Milwaukee county. Ms. Maxwell holds a Master's degree in public service with a specialization in criminal justice administration.

Allen May of Urbanville IA last held the position of city administrator of Coal Valley Illinois. He started serving in that position in 2014. Prior to that position, May has zoning and planning experience back to 1974.
Jennifer James-Mesloh of Marquette MI holds a PhD in public affairs and a Masters in Public Administration.  Since 2013 she has served as assistant professor and program coordinator of the MPA program at Northern Michigan University.  In addition, she has worked for Advanced Research, Inc, a consulting business since 2003 as a consultant to public and non-profit agencies.

Louis A. Ogaard of West Valley City Utah holds a PhD in Botany and has 20 years experience with the state of North Dokota where he manage and environmental restoration program. His latest position was providing environmental support at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah.

Michael P. Putt, Sr. of Memphis seeks the city manager position.  He has worked for the Memphis fire department since 1984 having retired earlier this year as director of fire services, a position he held since 2014.  He served as deputy director of fire services from 2008 to 2014.

Adam R. Rabe of Marengo Iowa. Mr. Rabe has served as director of the Iowa Co. Iowa EMS since 2008. Part of his tenure was as a hospital employee then the EMS service became part of the county operation. In addition, Rabe served 8 years on the Marengo city council, currently serves on the local 911 board and holds a BS in public administration.

Sammy J. Ragsdale of Dodge City, Kansas is the assistant county administrator of Ford County Kansas and from September 2015 to March 2016 he was the chief financial officer of the High Country Council of Governments at Boone County North Carolina. Previous positions incude a city management consultant in Burlington Colorado, City manager of Clifton Texas and a US Navy veteran. He has a BS degree and graduate work towards an MBA.

Christian Saxe currently holds the position of assistant public works director at Spring Hill Tennessee, a position he's held since October of 2015. From 2008 to 2015 Saxe was deputy director of public works for the city of Orange California. He holds a bachelors degree in public administration.

Harry Staven of Richland WA most recently worked as the finance director of Bandon OR and before that as city administrator/planner of Hoona AK.  He worked in municipal management since 1989 at various levels.  He served 6 years on the board of the Richland WA housing authority.  He holds a Masters of Public Administration.

Dennis Sparks of Hopewell Virginia has experience as various city/village managers from 1999 to 2005 in several different states. Sparks is currently a management and aviation consultant as well as a pilot and flight instruction. Sparks has an MBA.

Tina Tuggle of Kingston Tennessee is currently a municipal finance trainer and previously served as the city manager of Oliver Springs Tennessee from June 2012 to November 2014. She also served as Oliver Springs' city recorder from 2010 to 2012. She holds an associate degree in legal science. 

Ryan Schmidt of Nashport Ohio is currently manager of Stone division and landscape design. From 2010 to 2016 her served as general manager of the Vista golf course at Nashport OH. He has a BS in Horticulture and agriculture from Ohio State University.

Greg Wood of Baker Florida has a masters of public administration from the University of Florida. From 2013 to 2016 Mr. Wood has served as the county administrator of Harris County Georgia. From 2010 to 2012 he served as the county manager for Jasper County Georgia and from 2007 to 2009 as the county administrator of Holmes Co. Florida and similar experience back to 1984.

Previous applicant Jordan Shaw of Franklin TN requested that his name be removed from consideration for the position. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Crossville Police and Cumberland Co. Sheriff sponsor Safe Ride Home on New Year's Eve


In an effort to better serve the community and to keep our roadways safe for motorists, the City of Crossville Police Department, in cooperation with the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office and E911, will be participating in a Safe Ride Home program this New Year’s Eve.

If you have been celebrating the New Year and would like a FREE, No-Questions-Asked, Safe Ride Home, we are only a phone call away. Just call 911, from 10 PM Dec. 31, 2016 to 4 AM Jan. 1, 2017 to speak with emergency operators, who will be standing by, to help you stay safe.

The City of Crossville Police Department will provide a Safe Ride Home to anyone who lives inside the City of Crossville, up to 1 mile outside of the City limits. The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office will do the same for the residents of Cumberland County.

“These Safe Rides Home will be just that, a safe ride home. We will not be giving rides to people who are going from one party to another. Our goal is to get folks home safely and to prevent drunk driving crashes and the countless ruined lives they can cause.”
                                                       -Chief Mark Rosser, Crossville Police Department

Crossville police department earns state accreditation

After 18 months of hard work the Crossville police department has been recognized as an accredited agency by the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police (TACP) through the Tennessee Law Enforcement Accreditation (TLEA) program.

The certificate was presented to Crossville Mayor James Mayberry and interim police chief Mark Rosser by Randy Evans, district representative of the TACP and chief of police for Cookeville. Evans described CPD's achievement in reaching “an such an important and much coveted milestone.” Evans added that the award recognizes much work and commitment.

Mayor James Mayberry, interim police chief Mark Rosser 
and Cookeville police chief Randy Evans

The accreditation program is voluntary with no requirement to participate in the program that consists of 161 standards that an agency must meet. Policy and directives are required and complaince with those 161 standards explained Evans. “It takes great commitment, dedication, and hard work by the agency head, agency personnel and city leaders to meet the standards,” said Evans.

According to Evans, most agencies take about 3 years to meet the standards while CPD was able to accomplish the certification program in some 18 months. Benefits of the program in addition to strong policies, non-discrimination and better management as well as reduced insurance costs.

The standards of excellence that have been met through the accreditation process should be looked upon with great respect,” concluded Evans.

The drive to accreditation began with a meeting between former city manager David Rutherford and former interim police chief Rod Shoap a short time after Shoap started at the city. Shoap explained that he had much experience with accreditation at both the state and national levels and the program was important to CPD because policies had not been changed since 1994 at the department.

Shoap offered his congratulations on the department's accomplishment and said the whole department  had worked on the project. Shoap said one of the biggest jobs was the auditing and reorganization of the department's evidence storage.

Interim chief Mark Rosser commented about the accomplishment, "The benefits of Accreditation are numerous and include sound written directives to help guide police officers, better management of information for sound decision making, fair and non-discriminatory personnel practices, as well as reduced insurance costs ($100 per officer through TML-RMP).  The standards of excellence that have been met through the accreditation process is looked upon with great pride by the Crossville Police Department. I am proud to recognize the hard work of this department and its staff."

Crossville PD is the 42nd agency in Tennessee to achieve accreditation in TLEA.

Rosser pointed out part of what the TACP says about the importance of accreditation, "the reason for the Policy is what we say we do. Proofs mandated by accreditation show that we do what we say. Next and just as importantly, the process does not end upon the award of accreditation. Our departments must maintain annual updates, and checks and balances to retain accreditation. This keeps us on the continual progressive trajectory of best practices and professional police service."

The initial accreditation is valid for a term of three years.  

Closed executive session called by city attorney.

The City Attorney will be holding a closed executive session to discuss pending litigation at 12:00 on Wednesday, December 21, that will last about 10 minutes.  Following the closed session, the work session on the shooting sports park will be held.

Story on work session.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Kerry plant Expansion announced for Mayland operation

Local officials with the Horizon Initiative and Kerry announced the expansion of the plant in Mayland that most locals know as Hickory Specialties.

Announced under the banner of the Horizon Initiative, Chamber of Commerce president Brad Allamong pointed to the Horizon logo saying, “When you see this sign something good is behind it.” The Horizon Initiative is a partnership of local government, education and industry to promote the community's economic development.

The expansion includes an investment of some $13.3 million for the addition of 18,000 square feet, new state of the art equipment and 10 new employees.

The facility currently employees some 50 workers and has been a part of the community since 1972.  Freddy Conley, plant manager said the company had recently purchased a competitor and plan to move additional production to the local facility.  Conley added that Kerry was "going strong."

“The future's bright for Kerry's investment, the synergies are great, the resources are here,” added Conley. “We make a food product derived from sawdust, which is pretty unique in the industry and we maintain the highest of standards.” Conley also said he would be strongly advocating to hire locally for the new positions.  

Kerry plant manager of the Mayland TN operation Freddy Conley
explains the expansion of the plant, located here since 1972. 

Video of the Announcement