Councilman wants to add human-resources leader

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 14, 2007

FRANKLIN—At least one city councilman wants to look into hiring someone to oversee human resources. Carolyn Joyner currently serves as the department’s manager, but a director’s position has been vacant for roughly four years.

The city currently does not have a public information officer. The human resources department doesn’t handle issues related to that position; rather, they go through the city manager’s office.

During the City Council’s recent retreat, Councilman Charles Wrenn brought up the possibility of a new position. “This is a function that I don’t think Bucky (Taylor) can adequately cover as city manager,” Wrenn said.

“The two issues we’ve had over the last year have made us targets, because we can’t respond. It puts us in a bad spot because no manager is handling it.”

The city manager has been under public scrutiny for advertising the electric department director’s job before the current director had formally resigned, and for hiring and immediately firing two firefighters due to the city’s nepotism policy.

Wrenn said there has been a push for an assistant city manager that would handle similar issues.

“Personally, I recommend we bite the bullet and hire a human resources manager,” he said. “If there’s not enough work to keep them fully occupied, let them do some of the things an assistant manager would do.”

Mayor Jim Councill recommended adding the item to the budget issues to consider, saying, “We are not even going to have enough for what’s on there now.”

Councilwoman Mary Hilliard said, “I say we keep it like it is — relinquish Bucky and hold Carolyn accountable.”