MUD Board calls special meeting to discuss Manager’s pay

MUD Board news
The Metro Utility Board will meet on Thursday to discuss a change in the pay rate for the next MUD Manager.

LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — Following their regular June meeting last Tuesday night, MUD Board officials posted a special-called meeting for Thursday, June 29. What’s on the agenda? The pay of the yet-be-hired MUD Manager.

Former manager, Russell Sells, resigned from his position in April. In the interim, the MUD Board, which consists of Chairman Shane Taylor, Vice Chair Will Shavers, Barry Posluszny, Jon Robertson, and Charles “Boo” Johnston asked 17 year MUD employee Ronnie Cunningham to both serve as interim manager and apply for the position permanently. They also posted the job opening on multiple state websites.

That wider net resulted in applications from two additional candidates including Tommy McFarland of Trousdale County and Hunter Shelton of Arkansas. Last Tuesday, Chairman Taylor called for nominations for the permanent hire of a new MUD Manager. The five men sat there silent with lots of paper shuffling for a good three minutes before first term member, Charles “Boo” Johnston nominated interim director Ronnie Cunningham and Chairman Taylor seconded.

Following that motion, Vice Chair Will Shavers nominated McFarland and Barry Posluszny seconded. At the roll call vote, only Johnston cast a vote for Interim Manager Cunningham. Chair Taylor, Vice Chair Shavers, Posluszny, and Robertson all cast their vote for McFarland.

The following day, a public notice about the special meeting appeared.

According to publicly available records, the previous MUD Manager made $65,000 per year and that position is budgeted for $67,000 in fiscal 2023-24. McFarland currently serves as the General Manager at the Hartsville/Trousdale County Water and Sewer Department. His current publicly available salary data states that he made $74,857 in fiscal 2021-2022 and $89,107 in fiscal 2022-23. His estimated salary in 2022-23 will be $89,029. (Click here to see a copy of the Trousdale County/Hartsell Water and Sewer Budget.)

The MUD Board Special Session Meeting will take place on Thursday, June 29 at 6 p.m. at the American Legion Building located at 119 Booneville Highway. As per a new addition to the state’s open meeting laws, the Board must allow for public comments on the lone agenda item, preferably before any actions or votes are taken.

If you would like to speak to Chairman Taylor, Vice Chair Shavers, or any MUD Board member prior to the meeting, their publicly available email addresses can be found on the MUD website. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently-owned, community newspaper located in Lynchburg, Tennessee the home of The Jack Daniel Distillery. We tells the stories of local folks here in Lynchburg as well as those happening across Tennessee and the American South that we believe may be of interest to our readers. Like what we’re doing? You can support us for just $5 per month by following this link.}