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Norris City Council Minutes
Monday, January 9, 2017
BE IT REMEMBERED THAT THE CITY OF NORRIS CITY COUNCIL MET IN REGULAR SESSION
ON MONDAY, JANUARY 9TH, 2017, AT 7:00 P.M. WITH THE FOLLOWING COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT: JACK BLACK, BILL GRIEVE, YORK HAVERKAMP,
CHRIS MITCHELL, AND LORETTA PAINTER.
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Mitchell.
HEAR THE PUBLIC
141 Butternut, wanted to address the issue of the dismissal of the City Manager Tim Hester. He stated he had a problem with
the timing that Council did this. After Council was sworn in you decided to fire the City Manager. Mr. Stoner stated with
the years of service the City Manager had, he felt the voters should have some say after a certain amount of time. He state
he knew it was a business decision, but when he voted in November he voted for status quo. He would like Council to consider
evaluating the City Manager at a different time. He stated with the length of service Hester had, he felt the voters should
have had a say in the evaluation of the job.
RESIGNATION OF COUNCIL MEMBER BLACK
Interim City Manager Deatherage reported MTAS Consultant Margaret Norris informed him Council would need to address
the resignation of Council Member Black. Interim Manager Deatherage stated he was informed by Ms. Norris, if Council Member
Black wanted to withdraw his resignation and remain on Council all he has to do is say so, or otherwise Council would have
to vote on accepting his verbal resignation. Council Member Black stated he desired to remain on Norris City Council. Mayor
Mitchell stated the matter is now closed.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
1. The minutes
of the December 12, 2016 Council Meeting and the December 19, 2016 Special Called Meeting were presented for approval. Motion
was made by Vice Mayor Haverkamp to approve the minutes. Motion was seconded by Council Member Grieve. Motion carried by voice
2. Independent Audit Results 2015-2016 and Response to Anonymous Fraud Report Submitted to State
of TN Comptroller - Jami Kiger, Lead Auditor with HG & A Associates, PC gave an overview
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of the 2015-2016 CAFR. Ms. Kiger thanked Council, Mayor Mitchell, City Recorder
Janet Parks, and all the employees of Norris for their assistance during the audit. She reported the City had received a clean
opinion. Ms. Kiger reported the CAFR was submitted to the State and also to the Government Finance Office Association for
consideration of the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. She noted the City of Norris has received
this Certificate of Achievement for the last 12 consecutive years. She noted a change in net position for the Water Fund for
FY 2016 was just over $37,000 and if not for the retirement adjustment to the current year pension expense, the change in
net position would have only been $15,000. She stated it was real important the Water Fund has a positive change every year
because if there are two consecutive years of net losses the State would step in and declare the utility a distressed district
and exert additional controls and reporting requirements. Mayor Mitchell asked if the Water Fund pension adjustment was a
one year adjustment or will it help us in future years also. Ms. Kiger stated it could help or it could actually hurt as it
depends on which way the valuation goes from year to year.
Ms. Kiger reported there were two Internal
Control Findings. Finding 2016-001 - Inconsistent records for volunteer firemen pay. She reported during FY 2016 some Volunteer
Firefighters were paid for monthly participation at volunteer fire meetings for months not shown as participating by the Asst.
Fire Chief’s detailed records. In one instance, an individual that was not on the volunteer fireman roster was paid
for multiple months of participating and some volunteer firemen were not paid for monthly participation for months shown as
participating by the Asst. Fire Chief’s records. The records by which volunteer firemen were paid were based on information
kept by Public Safety personnel that was approved by the Fire Chief. The information kept by the Public Safety personnel did
not appear to be reconciled to the Asst. Fire Chief’s detailed records prior to approval by the Fire Chief. The auditor’s
recommendation is for the City’s management to take the appropriate steps to ensure that the correct volunteer is paid
for the correct amount of monthly participation. Finding 2016-002 – Rifle range permit number skipped. During FY 2016,
some rifle range sequential permit numbers were skipped by Public Safety employees as they processed rifle range permit sales.
Auditors also noted that rifle range keys (keys are issued along with permits) were not separately reconciled to permits issued.
Auditors recommended the City’s management take the appropriate steps to ensure the sequence of the rifle range permits
and the corresponding keys are accounted for and reconciled to the revenue generated by the rifle range permit sales.
Ms. Kiger asked Council if they had any questions. Vice Mayor Haverkamp asked
how the audit caught the volunteer firemen pay discrepancy. Ms. Kiger stated HG & A had received notification of concern
from the State Comptroller’s Office as a result of an anonymous complaint and they extended their audit procedures to
include that area. Mayor Mitchell asked the Fire Chief and Asst. Fire Chief if they had any comments concerning the findings.
Steve Hurst, attorney on behalf of Chief Humphrey, stated he had discussed this with the Chief and they felt the discrepancies
were result on how some of the keys were handed out and Chief Humphrey has no position on internal controls at this time.
Ms. Kiger stated anytime City of
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there are more than one concern in a particular area,
auditors give more attention to other areas to make sure there are no other areas that need to be improved.
Asst. Chief Scott Hackler asked if there were any plans to pay for the volunteer firemen
that did not receive the correct pay. Interim City Manager Deatherage stated, if Asst. Chief Hackler can demonstrate there
are firemen that were not paid he will look into correcting this with Council’s approval. Council asked Interim City
Manager Deatherage to work with the Fire Chief and Asst. Fire Chief to correct the issue and pay any firemen that were not
paid correctly. Mayor Mitchell noted this was the second year in the row that an anonymous complaint was filed with the state.
Mayor Mitchell noted with the audit findings there was merit to the complaint. Mayor Mitchell stated he values the Volunteer
Fire Dept. Volunteers and wants them to be rewarded for their participation and they should be paid. Motion was made by Council
Member Black to reconcile the volunteer fire department pay and reimburse any volunteer that was shorted. Motion was seconded
by Council Member Painter. Motion carried by voice vote.
3. Board and Commission Vacancies - None to report.
4. Mayor Mitchell reported Michael Dobb had volunteered to repair and replace the basketball
goal and he was also working with Jeff Merritt to repair the lights at the library at no cost to the City. Motion was made
by Council Member Black to approve Mr. Dobb and Mr. Merritt to do the repair work. Motion was seconded by Council Member Painter.
Motion carried by voice vote.
5. Eric Harold Park Play Structure – Interim City Manager Deatherage reported
a salesperson with Gametime Play Structures had submitted proposals. Interim City Manager Deatherage will refer the proposals
to the Recreation Committee for review.
6. Fundraiser: Ceiling Fans for Lions Pavilion – Interim City Manager Deatherage reported
$1,625 had been donated as of January 9, 2017.
7. Volunteer Fire Dept. Investigative Audit Response
– Asst. Fire Chief Scott Hackler presented the draft response to the Norris Bulletin article he had prepared. Public
Safety Chief Humphrey stated that he and former City Manager Hester had recommended some changes to the response and Council
had received a copy of their recommendations. Council Member Painter stated the number of years the Public Safety managed
the account was incorrect and should be changed from 15 to 6. After a brief discussion, Vice Mayor Haverkamp made a motion
to approve the response submitted by Asst. Chief Hackler. Motion was seconded by Council Member Grieve. Motion carried by
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Employee Grievance – Mayor Mitchell reported the grievance pertaining to Public Safety Officer Michael Loveday dismissed
in November 2016 would be heard and Officer Loveday’s attorney, Matthew Cook, would be acting as his representative.
Mayor Mitchell reported the attorney for the City’s insurance carrier was present along with a Court Recorder to record
the grievance, and also noted the City’s attorney was also present. Mr. Cook said he was representing Officer Loveday
for being unjustifiably dismissed. Through negotiations with the TML attorney, a proposed agreement was prepared and presented
to Council for review. The attorney stated in the event the agreement is not approved he would recommend the grievance be
rescheduled for a future time. He stated the essential terms of the agreement were his dismissal would be changed to a 15
day suspension, he would be reinstated effective after the conclusion of the suspension, he would receive back pay from that
point going forward, and his sick pay would be reinstated as to the point it was at the time of the termination. He noted
that both sides would release all claims against each other related to this termination. Council Member Painter asked Mr.
Cook if this agreement was negotiated by him and the insurance company and he said that was correct. Mayor Mitchell asked
Mr. Cook if he understands in order for the agreement to be approved it would take a majority vote of the Council and he said
that was what he understood. Attorney Steve Hurst stated he was not audience but was an attorney representing the Police Dept.
He stated he had been hired to be there on their behalf because the City’s attorney has a conflict of interest and cannot
represent them. He also stated he was not there as a citizen but as an attorney representing a party in the grievance and
would only speak if the officers were called upon to speak concerning the grievance. Mayor Mitchell stated he understood this
was a grievance with the City, not individuals. Council Member Black stated he was not aware we were talking to the City attorney
concerning the matter. Council Member Black stated he made a motion at the last meeting and he was making it again tonight
to not hear the employee grievance. He said there is no expertise at this table to evaluate professional conduct of an officer.
He stated all grievances should go to the State Human Rights Commission. Council Member Black made the motion to not hear
the grievance and to refer the grievance to the Human Rights Commission. Mayor Mitchell said in the termination letter it
stated Mr. Loveday had the right to appeal the dismissal to the governing body in accordance with the personnel policies and
procedures. Mayor Mitchell stated he does not see how we can ignore that. Council Member Black stated other cities ignore
it on a regular basis - Mayor Mitchell stated he did not support that. Mayor Mitchell stated we may need to look at our policies,
but it is what it is today. Council Member Painter said it is was her understanding that this agreement was proposed by the
insurance company and Mr. Loveday’s attorney - Mayor Mitchell said that was correct. Vice Mayor Haverkamp stated Council
needs to deal with it according to policy, but as to changing policy in the future, he is not against looking into it. Motion
failed for a lack of a second.
Council Member Black asked if our insurance
company was suggesting settlement be reached in this matter. Mayor Mitchell stated his understanding is yes, and he asked
for the TML attorney to clarify. The TML attorney stated what you have before you is a written City of Norris Council Minutes January 9, 2017 5 | P
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agreement after discussion with Mr. Loveday’s attorney and is up to
Council to decide to accept the agreement or not. Vice Mayor Haverkamp stated we can talk about this all night and we can
talk about what happened, but that is not what the agreement is about. Council Member Painter stated she was looking at what
the insurance company is suggesting. Motion was made by Council Member Painter to accept the reinstatement agreement. Motion
was seconded by Council Member Grieve. Voting for: Grieve, Haverkamp, Mitchell, and Painter. Voting against: Black.
Mayor Mitchell made a motion to take a 5 minutes recess. Motion was seconded by Vice Mayor Haverkamp. Motion carried
by voice vote.
Mayor Mitchell called the meeting back in order after
the 5 minute recess at 8:10 p.m.
9. CITY MANAGER REPORT
Interim City Manager Deatherage reported on the following:
– 2016 Year to Date City Budget – Overall expenditures are on target to budget with 96% of 2016 property taxes collected, which is ahead of normal
pace of collections. Overall the City’s financial health continues to be strong and the City is in good position for
meeting current capital needs. However, long term projections indicate that additional revenues and/or change in city services
may be necessary in the next 1-3 years.
2) 2015 – 2016 Year to Date Water Budget – Overall, NWC operations budget is very tight,
with no changes to report from previous months. Water sales project to be on target for the year but it is apparent the sewer
sales will miss the budget as we have now been below projected sewer revenue for six consecutive months. NWC has agreed to
delay hiring until the budget detail was clearer.
3) Grant Updates
a) T-21 Grant Opportunity – grant was awarded for $347,000 to extend the City sidewalk system to Highway
61. This will require the City to provide match funds of approximately $120,000. Engineer is proceeding with the Environmental
Phase of the project. The site survey has been modified, and we will be proceeding with easement acquisition in the upcoming
weeks. A Public Workshop was held on December 12, 2016.
b) Safe Routes to Schools Grant – SRTS is
a federally funded program and 100% federally funded; no match is permitted. We have begun the planning process for implementation.
We have received our signed contract from the State and TDOT is working on the environmental assessment.
Oil Recycling Grant – An award has been made by TDEC for an oil recycling grant in the amount of $21,500. This grant
is 100% and requires no local match. Heaters
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have been installed
and a new roof over the collection tank will be installed this week. The State completed the final inspection on December
4) Emergency Repair – 1994 Freightliner Fire Truck – Interim
City Manager Deatherage report emergency repairs were required on the 1994 Freightliner Fire Truck. He reported the shift
servo was leaking and repairs totaling $4,381.87 were necessary in order for the truck to operate properly. A motion was made
by Vice Mayor Haverkamp to approve the emergency repairs up to $4,381.87 from fund balance. Motion was seconded by Council
Member Painter. Motion carried by voice vote.
5) Update of Watershed Resource Management Plan
A draft of the plan is now on the City’s website for public review prior to its adoption. The public is
encouraged to attend future Watershed Board meetings and provide input. Plan should be presented to Council very soon.
6) See attached City Manager Report.
Amendments - none
11. Review of City Manager Search – Interim City Manager Deatherage
discussed the advertising for the City Manager search. He is recommending advertising the positon with MTAS, TML, Norris Bulletin,
and possibility the Sentinel and the Oak Ridger. Letters of interest and/or resumes will be accepted through February 10,
2017. Motion was made by Vice Mayor Haverkamp to authorize the advertisement of the City Manager position and to have the
review of the City Manager Search on the February 13, 2017 agenda. Motion was seconded by Council Member Painter. Motion carried
by voice vote.
12. Council Member Black stated at the last meeting Council was asked what goals
they would like to accomplish during the next two years and his number one goal is to have an electronic communications set
up that allows everyone to communicate with each other. He stated he has spent the last couple of weeks talking to people
in Nashville concerning this. He reported there is a way to get state approval to set up a board on the internet where you
can post notes. It would be a forum and you would have an administrator and they would control access. Council Member Black
stated Council could post comments on this board and would not have to worry about the sunshine law. This board would allow
residents to post issues, and there would be a place to post announcements. He also reviewed Google and Facebook accounts.
Council Member Black stated he was told by the State that state laws are behind technology and if we are interested in doing
this they would love to see it and asked if we knew someone
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that could get
this bill before the legislature. He stated he did not want to ask the Congressman that was willing to work with us to spend
time to get this bill passed if the City did not want to use it. Council Member Black said my question tonight if we do this
would you want to adopt it, if not, he would drop it. Mayor Mitchell said he does not do Facebook but he is aware of a lot
of bullying. He asked Council Member Black how you prevent abuse of what you are proposing. Council Member Black stated it
is a controlled account and controlled solely by the Administrator we appoint. Mayor Mitchell asked why he was proposing both
options together, when one option would be available right now. Council Member Black stated that was the way he does things.
Council Member Black said he would work with Nashville and if it is passed, Council can look at it at that time.
Council Member Black made a motion that Council hold a one day retreat in Crossville at the State Park between January
22 – 27, 2017, and he would pay for the meeting room. He stated he felt this Council needs to set down and see what
they want to accomplish over the next two years. Mayor Mitchell asked why Crossville was the location. Council Member Black
stated because most Cities hold retreats out of their towns. Mayor Mitchell stated he was not willing to go to Crossville,
but would do a workshop here if it is advertised and the public is invited. Mayor Mitchell stated he did not think public
participation would be large if it was held in Crossville. Mayor Mitchell stated if Council voted to do one they could but
he would not vote to do one offsite to try to exclude the public. Vice Mayor Haverkamp stated he also would want it held locally
so the public could easily attend. Council Member Black rescinded the motion.
13. Chuck Edrington, Chestnut Dr., asked what determined the amount of taxes TVA
pays to the City and if there had been any increase in the tax amount. Mayor Mitchell stated he did not have the answer and
asked City Recorder Parks to research this and bring answer back to City Council at the next meeting.
14. Accounts Payable, Minutes, and Reports
Mayor Mitchell asked Council for questions or comments concerning accounts payable, minutes, and reports. There
were no questions or comments from Council.
15. Motion was made by Council Member Grieve to adjourn.
Motion was seconded by Council Member Painter. Motion carried by voice vote at 9:25 p.m.
Interim City Manager Janet Parks, City Recorder City of Norris Council Minutes January 9, 2017 8 | P a g e
TO: Norris City Council
RE: City Manager’s Report
DATE: January 9, 2017
2016-17 Year to Date (Estimated
through November) CITY Budget. Overall,
YTD Expenditures are on target to budget. 96% of property tax has been collected. Other key revenue categories such as State
Sales Tax, Local Option Sales Tax, Wholesale Beer & Liquor Tax are on target to budget. Annual audit work is nearing completion,
and final financial reports will be available by the end of the year. Independent Auditor will be at the January meeting to
present an overview and answer any questions.
Estimated 2015-16 Year
End Undesignated CASH reserves finished at:
Fund $325,000 NOTE: This has increased
by $25k due to higher than expected Hall Tax collections and a State TCRS Adjustment of $38,000.
Watershed Fund $178,645 ($32,882 of this is earmarked for future Rifle Range improvements)
City’s financial health continues to be strong, and the City is in good position for meeting current capital needs such
as equipment and road paving. However, long term projections indicate that additional revenues and/or change in city services
may be necessary in the next 1-3 years.
2. 2016-17 Year to Date (Estimated through November) Water Commission
Budget. Overall, NWC operations
budget remain tight, with no changes to report from previous months. Revenue through Dec. 2016 is 49% (excluding CDBG Grant).
Water sales project to be on budget through Dec. 2016, but it is apparent that
sewer sales will miss the budget as we have now been below projected sewer revenues for 6 consecutive months. Sewer sales
project to be approximately $30k short of projected annual revenue.
We do have two expense items that will
offset the current projected revenue shortfall. The first is unplanned savings of $33k that has resulted in a transition from
the retirement of an existing employee to a new hire.
We also budgeted for
a new position beginning October 1 that NWC agreed to delay hiring until the budget detail was clearer. Should we delay this
position until July 1, NWC would City of
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save an additional $40k in wages, health insurance, and retirement. We will
continue to monitor closely.
3. Grant Updates.
a. New Sidewalk Grant – grant was awarded for $347,000 to extend the City sidewalk system to Highway
61. This will require the City to provide match funds of approximately $120,000. TDOT reports that these types of projects
typically take 2-3 years of prep work prior the project breaking ground. Engineer is proceeding with the Environmental Phase
of the project. The site survey has been modified and is now available for public review. A Public Workshop was held on Dec.
b. Safe Routes to Schools Grant. Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a federally funded program focusing on the benefits of children walking and biking
to school. Its primary purpose is to encourage elementary and middle school children to safely walk and bicycle to school
through infrastructure improvements, educational initiatives and promotional activities. Projects and activities are 100%
federally funded for the 2015 year; no match is permitted. Our award of this grant was received and we have begun the planning
process for implementation. We have received our signed contract from the State and TDOT is working on the environmental assessment;
this has to be completed before any work can commence.
c. Oil Recycling Grant. An award has been made by TDEC for an oil recycling grant in the amount of $21,500.
Grant request had been for $27,500, but grant funds will cover all planned work. This grant is funded 100% and requires no
local match. Heaters have been installed and a new roof over the collection tank has been completed. The State completed the
inspection on December 27, 2016.
4. Emergency Repair – 1994 Freightliner Fire Truck. Emergency repairs were required on the 1994 Freightliner Fire
Truck. The shift servo was leaking and repairs to the shift servo and new front and rear drive shafts need to be installed.
The estimated cost for the repairs is $4,381.87. Interim City Manager Deatherage requested approval to pay for the emergency
repairs from fund balance.
5. Update of Watershed Resource Management Plan. The Norris Watershed Board is working to update and revise the Resource Management Plan. This
plan addresses 3 major categories of activities in the Watershed: forest management, recreation, and water quality. Public
workshops were held in January, February, April, and May. The plan has been completed and will be made available soon for
City Council review.
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