City Manager Search Continues for Norris

Reprinted from the Norris Bulletin

City Council met in a special called meeting on the evening of Monday, August 15th, to discuss the ongoing search for a new city manager following the resignation of Scott Hackler in June.

Mayor Chris Mitchell began the meeting by distributing an email response from Joshua Ray declining the formal offer of employment made by Council last week. Before continuing with procedural discussion on the next steps, the Council opened up the floor for public comment. Two residents expressed their hope that Council would look to someone local, while a third speaker said he would support a salary rate that would garner a professional manager who could run a city in the process of transition.

Following the public comment period, Council set about the task of rebooting the effort to attract and hire the next city manager. The four members of Council who were present unanimously agreed that it would be best to start the process over again, refreshing the job advertisement verbiage to include more stringent qualifications and listing the salary range, which Council voted to list at $80,000-125,000 per year, not including benefits. On this note, Councilman Bill Grieve stated that his salary cap was $100,000 and cautioned that the Council should consider the pay of existing city employees. In response, Mayor Mitchell said he felt the city had done a good job bringing up city pay in recent years and that they could do more, the hope being that an effective city manager will be able to evaluate pay scales across the city and make changes in line with the city’s budgetary requirements.

Following this discussion, Council set dates for upcoming public meetings to complete the search and decided to advertise the job announcement more widely to include the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), as well as the Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS) and local papers. Council will also refer to MTAS for advice on what other cities may be including in their advertisements and similar management searches that Norris has neglected.

In the meantime, Joe Deatherage, who served as the interim city manager previously in late 2016 into early 2017, has been named interim again. Mr. Deatherage comes with a long history of service to Norris and, after accepting, advised Council on their search, “Don’t take too long. I turn 89 in October.”

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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