Signal Mountain has a new mayor.
Charlie Poss, an environmental attorney who has volunteered as a member of the town’s planning commission for the past 10 years, was elected unanimously by his fellow council members Monday evening during their regular monthly meeting.
Mayor Poss was one of three new council members chosen during the recent election.
Susannah Murdock, who nominated him for the position, was chosen to serve as vice mayor.
Dan Landrum, Signal’s mayor for the past two years, indicated early during the meeting that he would be willing to serve again.
During a brief discussion, Council Member Murdock said Signal is lucky to have two capable leaders who are both willing to serve as mayor.
However, she noted, both she and former Mayor Landrum are at the beginning of the final two years of their respective terms.
The election of three new council members gives the town an opportunity to “try things a little differently,” she said, explaining why she was nominating one of the three – longtime planning commissioner Poss – to serve as mayor.
Mayor Poss, 54, grew up on Signal Mountain and raised his family there.
He is a practicing attorney employed by Environmental Research Center Inc.
During his successful campaign, he said the biggest challenge facing Signal is “managing growth while maintaining the town’s natural beauty and small town character.”
“We must listen to the citizens and make responsible decisions in keeping with our land use plan,” he said.
“If the town council listens to its citizens, we can ensure future development is embraced by the community.”
Every two years council members are chosen to serve as liaisons to the town’s different boards and commissions and most of these were appointed at the Monday meeting:
Susannah Murdock: the Planning Commission, the Mountain Arts Community Board and the Stormwater Appeals Board
Dan Landrum: the Personnel Committee, the Design Review Committee, and the Tree Board
Charlie Poss: the Planning Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals
Andrew Gardner: Parks and Recreation Board
Vicki Anderson: the Library Board and the Condemnation Board
The new council members will be attending the MTAS Elected Officials Academy this winter during the first session that has availability, said Town Manager Boyd Veal.
The contract to replace two culverts on Mississippi Avenue in the vicinity of St Timothy’s was awarded to Higgins Construction for the amount of $38,800 with a contingency amount of $3,880, if needed.
A resolution was approved that amended the personnel policy relating to special compensation procedures for overtime pay for police and fire personnel. There is no change to the way that overtime is paid, said Town Manager Veal, this resolution just creates a specific written policy for the procedure.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, the town officials have been getting complaints about traffic and parking around Signal Point and Rainbow Lake. Mr. Veal said he had hoped it would get better when the Signal Point parking lot reopened, but is has not, and complaints continue to come in. He said that temporary signs are already on James Boulevard and more will be put on Signal Point Road. No Parking will also be stenciled on the road. He said that the town is trying to minimize the negative impact of the signage. Mayor Poss suggested putting either more or larger garbage cans at Rainbow Lake or emptying them more often.
Mr. Veal reported that now most of the water tanks in the town are now electronically controlled, which has had a positive effect on the cost of electricity. He also told the council that a hydrology study is being done for the Playhouse area which has water issues during heavy rain. That is expected to get worse when the addition is made to the nearby library, so fixing that will be added to the scope of work for the hydrology study.
Closing the meeting, Mayor Poss thanked past Mayor Landrum for his service to the community.