LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – The City of LaFollette has made personnel changes. Tuesday evening, the LaFollette City Council convened with several administrative matters on the agenda, among them were the appointment of department heads. WATCH the meeting here on demand.
Twelve department heads were slated for reappointment. Ten were reappointed. As the council began to work down the list, Councilmember Mark Hoskins said he would like to protest this whole process of reappointments because it was not brought before the council. Mayor Mike Stanfield told Hoskins “this is done after every election” to which Hoskins challenged him by saying “We didn’t do this after the last election, but if it’s protocol we’ll do it.” Stanfield then questioned City Attorney Reid Troutman who said “I don’t recall the last time this was done on the record.” Stanfield continued he had been with the city almost 50 years, and when the council changed, employees changed.
Hoskins made the motion to retain City Administrator Jimmy Jeffries. The motion died for lack of a second. Hoskins then questioned why Jeffries was being terminated. His question went unanswered. At this point, Jeffries told the council he would take any items that need to be returned to Troutman’s office. The mayor questioned why he could not give those items to Human Resource Director/City Clerk/ Infectious Disease Officer Stan Foust. The question was not answered.
Codes/Animal Control Officer Daniel Foster was not reappointed either. Hoskins made the motion to reappoint Foster, but again the motion died for a lack of a second.
The ten employees who were reappointed were City Attorney Reid Troutman, City Clerk/Human Resource Director/Infectious Disease Officer Stan Foust, City Judge Kathy Parrott, Finance Director Terry Sweat, Fire Chief Jimmy Pack, Librarian Nancy Green, Police Chief Bill Roehl, Public Works Director Casey Boshears, Recreation Director Johnny Byrge and Treasurer Barbara Wilson.
Stanfield had requested a gate opener for the Public Works Department facility. At last week’s workshop, Jeffries told council he could not recommend giving the mayor a gate opener due to pending legal matters. Jeffries 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. Jeffries reiterated this concern at Tuesday’s meeting. Vice Mayor Phillip Farmer made the motion to give Stanfield the gate opener. Councilmember Stephanie Grimm seconded the motion with all in favor except Hoskins.
Jay Willoughby with the Joint Economic Development Board was at last week’s workshop 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. Last night the council approved the changes.
Police department hires and starting pay rate were discussed. Currently the department hires officers on a part- time basis at a starting pay of $10.40 per hour with the officers typically working 20 hours each week during the probationary period. Roehl would like to raise the pay rate to $14.63 per hour to make the department more competitive with other agencies, and the council was in agreement with the raise. Jesse Ferguson, currently a part- time police officer, was promoted to full-time patrol officer at a salary of $30,347.20 effective Jan. 16, 2021.
Resolution 2020-13 providing for In Lieu of Tax Payments from LaFollette Utilities was rescinded. Resolution 2020-25 providing for In Lieu of Tax Payments from LaFollette Utilities was approved. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/06/2021-6AM)