Vacancies persist in Franklin city government

Published 11:08 am Saturday, October 6, 2018

With the announcement of Chief Phil Hardison’s retirement earlier this week, the City of Franklin’s Police Department could potentially become the sixth department without a full-time, permanent department head.

According to Interim City Manager Clarence Monday, a total of five department head positions, including his own, are either vacant or staffed by interim appointees.

Monday said that as of last week, the city’s director of human resources position was completely vacant, meaning without a permanent or interim appointee. Carolyn Joyner had until last week been serving as HR director in a part-time capacity since March 2017. The city’s finance department has also been without a full-time, permanent director since March 2017, and is headed by Interim Director Tracy Gregory. Monday clarified that Gregory is serving on a contract basis rather than as a full-time or part-time employee.

The department that has been without a full-time, permanent director for the longest period is Parks and Recreation. Frank Davis has been heading that department on a part-time, interim basis since June 2014.

The most recent department head vacancies — other than Hardison’s retirement, which becomes effective Jan. 1, 2019 — are in the city’s Emergency Services department and City Manager’s office.

Former Emergency Services Chief Vince Holt, who had held the position for the past 16 years, retired effective Sept. 1. The new interim chief is Mark Carr. Former City Manager R. Randy Martin’s retirement took effect on Aug. 27, and Monday was named interim manager in mid September.

Monday confirmed that Carr, while interim, is full-time, and that interim appointees have the full responsibilities and authority as permanent department heads. As for the timeline for finding new permanent heads for these departments, Monday said that during the most recent City Council meeting, the council identified filling vacant staff positions as one of their top three highest priorities.

“They have directed me to get those filled with prompt attention,” he said, adding that the hiring processes will begin “as quick as I can get them done.”