Commissioners approved the budget, 4-1, with only Commissioner Art Giles voting against it.
Commissioners also discussed the next step in the hiring of a City Manager. The commissioners had narrowed the candidates to four and listened to pre-taped interviews done by MTAS. One of the candidates, Tony Massey, had removed himself from consideration for the position. Bradshaw asked that he get to interview two candidates one-on-one Interim City Manager Kenny Martin and John McCue.
I feel pretty confident in Kenny, said Commissioner Ted Floyd. I personally dont have any desire to interview the other two.
Giles agreed with Floyd, and said he would vote to hire Martin.
One snag that is holding Martin back is that he does not live inside the city limits. The City of Mt. Juliet has an ordinance that says that the City Manager must live in the city limits. Martin lives a few houses outside the limits, and can actually see the city limits from his front yard.
I will not vote to change that to accommodate, said Commissioner James Maness of the rule. Bradshaw also agreed that he would not vote to change it, but the other two commissioners and Hagerty indicated they would.
I dont know any family more associated with Mt. Juliet than the Martin family, Hagerty said. Hagerty said that rule was put in several years ago because they would be hiring someone from out of state, and they wanted them to move inside the city limits.
Commissioners agreed to all interview Martin one-on-one in the next 30 days. No other candidates would be interviewed. At the second meeting of July, they would decide what the next step would be.
Commissioners also decided what the next step was in building a fire station in the Providence area. The architectural firm of Lyman, Davidson, Dooley, Inc. had a design that had some commissioners concerned about the price. The firm had quoted the possible price as $1.4 million. Martin had got some sample bids that came in at or just over a million.
Instead of voting on the agreement with the architectural firm, Hagerty suggested that the City Manager get a few bids from a firm that would design and build the station, instead of one that would just design like Lyman, Davidson, Dooley, Inc.
Bradshaw objected, saying that it would push the process back, but Hagerty thought it would be quicker since the firm would be able to do both. The commissioners voted to receive bids from a design-build firm, 4-1, with Bradshaw voting against it.
Editors Note: Kenny Howell is the managing editor of The Chronicle of Mt. Juliet. He may be contacted at Editor@thechronicleofmtjuliet.com.