MUD Board names Ronnie Cunningham Utility Manager

MUD Board hires Ronnie Cunningham as Metro Utilities Manager
On Tuesday, the Metro Utilities Board voted unanimously to name Ronnie Cunningham the new Metro Utilities Manager. (A Lynchburg Times Photo)

LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — Almost two weeks after members of the general public pushed back on the five-member Metro Utilities Department (MUD) Board during a special-called meeting to discuss raising the Utilities Manager’s pay to meet the demands of an outside candidate, the Board reversed course and offered the job to Interim Metro Utilities Manager Ronnie Cunningham.

During the June 29 special-called meeting, over 30 members of the public came in person and another 327 interested parties watched online as the MUD Board considered raising the pays scale of the MUD Manager nearly $11,000. {To read our full coverage of that meeting, click here.}

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 landed them two additional candidates including Tommy McFarland of Trousdale County, who expressed interest in the job but only if Metro met his salary requirements.

But at the June 29 meeting, person after person stood to speak on Cunningham’s behalf and asked why a local with 17 on-the-job years of experience wasn’t good enough.

On Tuesday, in a room packed to capacity, MUD Chair Taylor stated it was time to move on.

“I’d like to remove the interim from your title and make it official,” he told Cunningham.

At the roll call vote, all three members present including Chair Taylor, Vice Chair Will Shavers and Barry Posluszny voted unanimously to hire Cunningham as Metro Utilities Director. Jon Robertson and Charles “Boo” Johnston were absent from the meeting.

MUD Board meetings take place the second Tuesday of each month. The next Metro Utilities meeting will take place on Tuesday, June 8 at 6 p.m. at the Metro Utilities office located on Fayetteville Highway. They post an agenda on their website prior to the meeting. All meetings are open to the public and all agenda items are open to public comment during the meeting. The Times will also post an agenda of the next meeting as soon as it’s available. •

{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.}

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