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City Council members seeking direction for economic hire

Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2023 at 4:44 pm


The City of Shelbyville is taking a Chinese menu approach to deciding what to do in the area of economic development.

In Column A they are asking for a job description for an economic developer. In Column By the City Council has requested a job description for an assistant to City Manager Scott Collins.

The motion was made an approved a 4-1 vote with Willian Christie, Bobby Turnbow, Marilyn Ewing and Stephanie Isaacson voting to move forward and Henry Feldhaus casting a “no” vote. Council member Gary Haile was not present at the workshop.

The purpose of the workshop held last week was for the city staff to receive a clear directive from the City Council on how they wish to pursue economic development.

Both job descriptions will be available for the Shelbyville City Council Study Session for November, However, the meeting will be held Oct. 30 at 6 p.m. at the Building, Codes and Planning Building. The regular monthly meeting is scheduled for Nov. 9.

During the October meeting Vice-mayor William Christie made a motion to hire an economic developer who would be interviewed by Mayor Randy Carroll and work under the direction of the City Council. The motion passed 4-1 with Christie, Turnbow, Ewing and Haile voting the motion and Feldhaus voting against the motion. Isaacson was not present.

The motion to hire an economic developer was made after the council voted 4-1 not to provide $100,000 in funding to the Shelbyville-Bedford Partnership.

City attorney Ginger Shofner advised the council during the workshop not to hire a new position that would result in the lengthy process of a charter amendment which would have to be approved by the State of Tennessee.

“The position needs to be hired by the City Manager,” Shofner said. “The City Council cannot be involved in the process when the city hires an employee. The charter is very clear on that.

“If the person is going to be an employee the person needs to be hired by Scott. Council members cannot sit in on the interviews.”

Mayor Carroll presented three stipulations to the Partnership board before the decision was made to not allow the city’s financial support.

The stipulations as presented by the city as talking points were:

“As was done with the City Mayor, Vice Mayor and City Manager, it would be beneficial for Shane Hooper, President/CEO of the Partnership to facilitate a meeting with Bedford County Mayor Chad Graham to request the Bedford County Commission agree to share the cost of the Chick-Fil-A economic incentive 50/50 to establish the sense of a true partnership.”

The City of Shelbyville provided $300,000 to the developer of the Chick-Fil-A store as an incentive.

Mayor Carroll also expressed the need “for communication to improve to the extent that City officials are made aware, in confidence, of any and all prospects with an interest in locating in Shelbyville.”

According to this stipulation, simply stated, if the City Council is going to be approached for economic incentives, they feel the need to be in the conversation on the front end of negotiations.

The City “is also concerned with the Shelbyville-Bedford Partnership from a seven-member board to a nine-member board with the City Council or County Commission being formally notified. In this stipulation the city believes “the Partnership Board should revert to the original form of four city/county government representatives and three private members. The City no longer has two seats on the board.

Mayor Carroll informed the council that no meeting was scheduled with the Partnership to discuss these concerns, though he had discussed the issues with David Coffey, chairman of the Partnership board.

“We would still be a part of that group, but they voted us out,” Mayor Carroll said. “I have tried to work with them. We have to move forward with economic development to see what we can do.”