LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – The City of La Follette met in adjourned session last night. This was a continuation of the Oct. 6 regular monthly meeting.

There were three items on the agenda for discussion.

In June, when the city was preparing its budget for the 2020-21 year, there were several items that were requested by department heads but were not funded at that time.   Instead, the council decided to get a capital outlay note after Oct. 1 when another note was paid off to fund the wish list.  To apply for the note, a list of general items needed to be included with the application.  On the list are computer upgrades for the administrative office, two tornado sirens, capital outlay equipment (e.g.:  police vehicles and mowing tractors), capital improvement projects such as the amphitheater, a multipurpose recreation building and sidewalks for ADA compliance and paving projects. The council will need to pass a resolution to apply for the capital outlay note, funds should arrive in December.

Seniority at the public works department rounded out the agenda.  However, the issue of seniority was not resolved.  Councilwoman Ann Thompson had requested that employees of the public works department be present at the meeting for the discussion of seniority, and those employees filled the room.  The conversation was prompted when Public Works Director Casey Boshears wanted to promote James “Mike” Suttles to an operator position.  Thompson told council that she feels seniority should be a priority when looking at promotions.  City administrator Jimmy Jeffries pointed out that in previous positions, the city had not looked at seniority, but the ability of the person.  To which Mayor Mike Stanfield said “It’s not what you know, but who you know” when referencing promotions.  Boshears countered that he was trying to do the job right.  He then read a letter dated April 2019 from former Public Works Director Jim Mullens stating that positions in the department were based on abilities of the individuals.  Boshears told council that he needed a straight answer on what to do about seniority.  Councilman Mark Hoskins made a motion that Boshears be allowed to place Suttles in whatever position he wanted.  Hoskins motion passed with Thompson casting the only no vote.  In the end, Suttles was promoted.

The agenda was suspended at the request of Jeffries to decide how the city wants to proceed with Trunk or Treat due to the latest COVID-19 spike.  The council agreed to have a drive thru Trunk or Treat on Sat., Oct. 31, 5 pm until 8 pm, behind the police department.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 10/13/2020-6AM-UPDATED 8AM)