Chapel Hill has new administrator

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

By Karen Hall

Editor

Chapel Hill's Board of Mayor and Aldermen sealed the deal with their new town administrator at a short special called meeting Monday night.

Mark Graves will start work on July 7. He is currently the City Recorder in Hohenwald.

City Attorney J. Todd Moore described how he contacted Graves and told him he was the BOMA's preferred candidate, then drafted an employment agreement.

Graves will be paid $62,000 per year, plus benefits. There is a severance clause in the agreement, stating what Graves will be paid if the town decides to fire him for no reason. If he is "terminated for cause" or simply decides to leave, Graves will get nothing.

Once the aldermen voted to approve the employment agreement, Graves was called in to the meeting to receive the good news.

"Thank you very much," he exclaimed. "I wish I could go to work tomorrow. I plan on giving you the best 10 or 20 years of my life."

Mayor Carl Cooper pointed out that Graves would be starting work the same day as the newly appointed recorder, Abigayle Gibson.

After some discussion it was agreed that Interim Administrator Austin Edmondson would stay on for a week to help Graves and Gibson get started, and then remain available by telephone for questions that might arise as Graves worked his way into the job.

"I'd like to thank Austin for cleaning things up," said Alderman Dottie Morton. "It's made your job easier."

An agreement on Edmondson's reimbursement for his phone consultation services will be presented to the BOMA at their special called meeting on June 30.

Edmondson himself was a candidate for the administrator job, but did not appear discouraged to have lost out to Graves. He said he was still in the running for similar jobs in Tennessee and Illinois. While waiting for answers on those, Edmondson said he planned to go home to Kentucky and check out his "honey-do" list.