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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Interim city manager Steve Hill's removal may be on next weeks agenda. Missing memos returned to Hills personnel file

One Crossville city council member has proposed an item on the council's October agenda concerning the removal of interim city manager Steve Hill from his position.

Councilman Pete Souza sought to place the matter on the agenda as of Monday's deadline. Hill has attracted attention ever since he was appointed in April this year, being criticized by councilman Souza for swapping vehicles with the director of the parks and recreation department, a position he previously held before taking early retirement.

Souza also had numerous other complaints about Mr. Hill's actions as part of last month's city council meeting.  Souza's report on Steve Hill from the September council agenda.

Hill also removed documents from his personnel file that concerned criticisms by previous city mangers of his performance as director of Parks and Recreation including questions about purchasing and improper use of a city vehicle. Hill's action to remove those documents was presented to the Municipal Technical Advisory Services (MTAS) and the Tennessee Comptrollers open records counsel and both criticized the action.

Those documents have recently been returned to the file and the three reprimands dating from 2012 and 2014 questioned Hill's use of a city vehicle and the extreme amount of fuel used, reportedly more than any other department head in the city.

Rutherford memo from Steve Hill's personnel file

A memo from David Rutherford dated November 19, 2014 says Rutherford spoke to Hill about rumors on the street about tools and equipment being removed from park sites and then showing up at other sites. He reminded Hill that employees were not to use city tools and equipment for personal use.

In addition, Rutherford spoke to him concerning “high fuel usage” saying “he has been using more than any other department head.” Rutherford said he basically told Hill to “get his house in order.”

Earlier memos from city manager Bruce Wyatt also expressed concern about vehicle and fuel use as well as other items. Shortly after Hill's vehicle was captured by a speed camera in Oak Ridge Tennessee in March of 2012, Wyatt met with Hill telling him that no one knew where he was or why. The hand written memo indicates Hill said he was visiting ball fields and he was not speeding.

Bruce Wyatt memo on Steve Hill 

Wyatt's memo said that Hill was not apologetic and was very short. Wyatt also said he told Hill about his fuel consumption and that he wanted an activity report.

Second Bruce Wyatt memo on Steve Hill

The second memo by city manager Wyatt is dated September 2012 and the note said that he told Hill to report back with an explanation of his fuel consumption report. Wyatt also told Hill to “tighten up his accounting procedures.” The note said there were too many lost invoices and too many check requests months after being invoiced. Hill reportedly assured Wyatt that he would take care of it.  

The October agenda is expected to be released Thursday.

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