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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Raise approved for interim police chief and timeline for hiring decision recommended. Kerley armed during meeting.

The call for a special meeting that was moved from Monday to Friday was attended by all the council members and several matters were covered including a raise for the interim police chief and a timeline for an expected decision on hiring a regular police chief.

Crossville city council discusses raise for interim police chief Mark Rosser

While reports are that Councilman Jesse Kerley holds a concealed carry permit for a fire arm, there is rarely a time when a council member attends a meeting with their firearm showing as Mr. Kerley did at Friday's meeting. Kerley's pistol was in a belt holster in the small of his back.

Councilman Jesse Kerley (with back to camera) carried 
what appeared to be a pistol during Friday's called meeting

Several people noticed the gun and Crossville mayor James Mayberry said the matter of weapons would be discussed at the next council meeting.

Councilwoman Pamala Harris lead the discussion on a proposed raise for the interim police chief Mark Rosser. Harris said Rosser has been doing a good job and put in a lot of extra hours. According to Harris, Rosser received a small raise when he became the interim chief but she added he was not making as much as the previous interim chief. Harris said she felt Rosser should be compensated a bit more until a decision is made on a permanent chief of police.

Crossville city council discussion on interim chief Mark Rosser

Councilman Kerley asked in Ms. Harris would be willing to make the raise retroactive to when the interim chief took the position. Ms. Harris agreed and Mr. Kerley seconded the motion.

Councilman Pete Souza took the floor saying he wanted to extend his appreciation to chief Rosser for everything he has done since he took the position. Souza continued, “Chief Rosser is going to be called upon to testify about one of the council members.” According to Souza he had received a call suggesting that the raise was being done to gain Rosser's favor, “and I don't believe anybody can buy Chief Rosser's integrity.” Souza said that that testimony may come up in his ethics complaint.

Souza said, “If it was up to me, every officer out there would get a 5 percent pay raise.”

Councilman Kerley commented, “I just wish we could have a meeting where we speak on facts and not conspiracy theories from here on out. That would be real nice mayor because that's what Robert's Rules of Order states that were supposed to do.”

Mayberry said he took Souza comments as a compliment to officer Rosser.

Kerley came back stating, “It was also an accusation and a personal attack.”

Mayberry apologized.

Souza spoke again saying, “This is facts.”

The motion was approved unanimously by the council.

Harris spoke again saying she would like to make a motion to recommend that the city manager make a decision on the hiring of a new chief of police on or before December 31. The motion received a second from councilman Danny Wyatt.

Mr. Souza said that the city manager has authority given to him by the charter. Souza continued, “He doesn't need the city council to tell him when to hire somebody.”

Ms. Harris said her motion was only a recommendation.

The motion was also approved unanimously.   

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