East Ridge Council Rejects New City Treasurer Position In 3-2 Vote

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The East Ridge City Council on Thursday night rejected 3-2 a proposal to set up a new position of city treasurer.

Vice Mayor Jim Bethune and Councilman Marc Gravitt were in favor of setting up the post that would supervise current finance director Diane Qualls.

Opposed were Mayor Brent Lambert and Council members Larry Sewell and Denny Manning.

Vice Mayor Bethune said he foresaw hiring an accountant who would "oversee any and all monies." 

He said, "I actually think in the future this will save us money."

Vice Mayor Bethune said of Ms. Qualls, "Her job would not change. She would just work under the treasurer."

Councilman Gravitt said the treasurer would also be over grants and help with the annual audits.

He asked Ms. Qualls if she did not see value in the new position. She said, "It would help some, but we don't have the money." She said all that was left in the budget was $16,954.

The council voted in favor of a new organizational chart - minus the treasurer. It includes a separate fire department and police department. Previously, Eddie Phillips was safety director overseeing both units.

The council approved on first reading a budget that does not have a tax increase. 


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