Thursday, August 03, 2006

Morristown Sweetens Deal To Keep Administrator

To update the story from earlier this week, Morristown's City Administrator Jim Crumley will stay in Morristown rather than continue the interview process for Kingsport's City Manager. More money from the Morristown Council made the difference, according to a report in the Kingsport Times News.

In the Wednesday letter, Crumley wrote that he will get a raise for staying in Morristown and that he wanted to help bring stability and improvements to Morristown, which before he came in 2001 had four city administrators in five years. It is about 60 miles southwest of Kingsport.

"One of the lessons I learned in Johnson City was that continuity of leadership is critical to achieving long-term goals," Crumley wrote.

"Having the opportunity to create ideas, implement the ideas and then make adjustments to correct any flaws is one of the keys to progress as a community. In order for real effort and real results to be recognized, the opportunity to stay in one city and attempt to reach higher is extremely appealing."

Crumley was to have undergone a public interview session with the BMA on Aug. 7. Phillips had planned to bring Crumley's nomination for city manager to a BMA vote Aug. 15.

"The Morristown City Council has been active in attempting to retain my services here as city administrator," Crumley wrote. "Yesterday evening (Tuesday), the mayor indicated that City Council had discussed and verbally approved a very generous restructuring of my employment contract. They have instructed the city attorney to meet with me and complete details in this agreement."

Crumley will get additional dollars for retirement, car allowance and a pay and benefits package topping $121,000.

Kingsport officials say they'll have to go back to square one now in their search.

The Kinsport newspaper also reports that as all 24 county commissioners are up for election today, not all seem to be in the loop regarding a salary study the commission contracted - although the newspaper was able to obtain a copy.

Commissioner Wayne McConnell and others had to get their copies from the newspaper:

McConnell said he was told the consultant who conducted the study, and who gave a presentation to the Budget Committee in a called meeting Tuesday, did not leave a copy on file anywhere in the courthouse.

Commissioners asked if they could borrow the copy given to the Times-News on Tuesday.

McConnell and others said the limited release of the information and its discussion by the Budget Committee has cut department heads and other elected officials out of the process.

"It's been handled very, extremely wrong," said Commissioner Mark Vance.

Vance said he'd seen a copy of what was given out at the Budget Committee, and "there's a lot of problems with it."

McConnell linked what happened with the salary study results to a broader problem within county government.

"You've got about three or four commissioners who know what's going on - and everybody else is in the dark," McConnell said. "This is a 24-member (commission). It's not an eight-member (commission) for just the Budget Committee. And my personal opinion is ... this is one thing that should have been presented to all the commissioners. If they were at Budget Committee last night, they should have been here tonight to explain this to us and to pass out something for us to look at."

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