LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – Administrative matters were heavy at last night’s City of LaFollette monthly workshop. Reappointments of department heads were discussed. Mayor Mike Stanfield told council that all department heads were to be reappointed after an election.  Watch the meeting HERE on demand.

The mayor continued to press for a gate opener at the Public Works Department stating that he was able to save the taxpayers a lot of money by having access to the building, and he had access to all other city buildings. Stanfield continued that when he can access the building, he can pick up dead animals after hours, helps with downed trees and an occasional fuel spill. City Administrator Jimmy Jeffries told council he could not recommend giving the mayor a gate opener due to pending legal matters. He continued that one of the employees was a witness in the pending matter, and it could create a hostile work environment for the employee if the mayor has unlimited access to the building. However, council agreed to put it on the agenda for next week’s meeting.  

Jay Willoughby with the Joint Economic Development Board was on hand to discuss what the board does and how it operates. Willoughby presented the council with documentation of changes that have been made to the board, requesting they review the documents and vote on the changes at their next meeting. 

The city has received a letter from the Comptroller’s Office requesting they make changes to the yearly budget ordinance.  The city has used the same ordinance for about 20 years, and it consisted of a page. The new ordinance will be about six pages long and will move the council budget approval date up so all the paperwork can be completed on time. Follow up on the motion made in November’s meeting to ere-mark capital outlay funds after the meeting had been adjourned by the mayor will be on the agenda.

Police department hires and starting pay rate will be on the agenda. Currently the department hires officers on a part time basis at a starting pay of $10.40 per hour. The officers typically work 20 hours each week during the probationary period. Chief Bill Roehl would like to raise the pay rate to $14.63 per hour to make the department a little more competitive with other agencies. Currently the department is down two officers after Jesse Ferguson was promoted to a full-time patrol officer at a salary of $30,347.20 effective Jan. 16, 2021. Ferguson is currently a part time officer.

Resolution 2020-13 providing for In Lieu of Tax Payments from LaFollette Utilities will be rescinded. While Resolution 2020-25 providing for In Lieu of Tax Payments from LaFollette Utilities will be on the agenda for approval.

Council will need to approve a $5,300 budget expenditure to pay for health screenings for the firemen. Cumberland Gap Medical will complete the screenings. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/29/2020-6AM)