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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Council concerned over non-profit use of city office space. City manager to oversee.

During their recent called meeting, the Crossville city council discussed the use of city hall office space by the Cumberland Rising drug alliance that came out of the Visioning Horizon project.

Council Member Pamala Harris asked that the itme be put on the agenda and started the discussion saying she was not so concerned about the entity using the space as she was about the fact that council was not notified about the use or given the opportunity to have input on the use of the office space. Another concern Harris mentioned was if the city had any liability from the use of the office by non-city employees.
City Attorney Will Ridley

Even though no motion was made, the discussion continued on the matter.

City attorney Will Ridley said that the city was covered for the liability under their insurance policy now. Ridley said currently community groups use the building for meeting now and there is coverage. Ridley said he was unable to find a city policy on use of the building and he felt it should be a council decision on use of rooms and offices. Ridley added there was no lease and the group was not paying any rent.

Mayor James Mayberry said agencies use the Palace Theatre green room to meet and other spaces in city hall to hold small meetings. The space had been used by other entities without it coming to the council and he felt that unless the council wanted to make a policy it should be at the discretion of the city manager.

Councilman Jesse Kerley asked interim manager Steve Hill if he knew about the use of the office and Hill responded that he knew after the fact and thought the previous city manager David Rutherford and given the permission. Kerley said he thought the drug colaition was formed after Rutherford left and was unsure how he could give authority for that use after he left.

City clerk Sally Oglesby said that the coalition had started last summer over a year ago but only recently received their charter and 501c3 status.

Ms. Harris said she was not concerned about meetings but the coalition had a name on the door, something Mayor Mayberry said he was unaware of.

Councilman Danny Wyatt moved that the city manager should regulate the use of offices. Wyatt added that he didn't feel outside agencies should set up permanent office space.

The motion was approved with all four council members present voting in favor of the motion.   

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