Signal Mountain Parted Ways With Latest City Manager Possibility After Learning He Was Looking Elsewhere After Taking Signal Job

Friday, May 20, 2022 - by Gail Perry
Signal Mountain Interim City Manager Elaine Brunelleschi
Signal Mountain Interim City Manager Elaine Brunelleschi

At a special called meeting on Wednesday, the Signal Mountain Town Council named the town’s third interim city manager since Boyd Veal retired at the beginning of December 2021. Mitchel Moore assumed the job until a new town manager was found. The first search failed to find a permanent city manager that all council members felt would fit well into the town, leading to a second search. During that time, the second Interim City Manager James Smith stepped in to fill the vacancy. He agreed to stay until June 10.

 

Josh Ray was chosen in April, from the candidates resulting from a second search.

His most recent position was in Shelbyville, where he served as city manager for just a little over one year, when he was terminated without a public explanation. He accepted the job in Signal Mountain and signed a contract with the town on April 29.

 

Mayor Charles Poss received a letter sent by Mr. Ray to another town in Tennessee, six days later on May 5, informing that Mr. Ray was pursuing another job - after signing the contract with Signal Mountain. His employment was scheduled to start June 1. When questioned by the mayor, Mr. Ray ultimately decided to terminate his contract.

 

Although frustration with the situation was expressed by several council members, they acted to dissolve the employment contract with Mr. Ray immediately, wishing to hire a professional with strong leadership skills and high ethical standards. A resolution of the council authorized the mayor to execute a termination agreement and mutual release with Mr. Ray.

 

A discussion followed with the mayor giving a brief review of the other candidates that had been considered before offering the job to Josh Ray. One had already accepted another position, and one was not able to start the job before Sept. 1. Another applicant, Elaine Brunell, had been a top candidate before removing herself from the process for personal reasons. Now, her situation has changed and she expressed to Mayor Poss that she would be willing to negotiate an employment contract for the position of a long-term Interim City Manager. The job would start June 7 with her term ending when a permanent town manager is hired. She will begin with a three-day orientation by current Interim City Manager Smith after which he will no longer be available.

 

A special called meeting will be held before the next work session on Monday to vote on the agreement to appoint Elaine Brunelle as the next interim city manager.

 

Ms. Brunelle is a veteran and retired Commanding Navy Officer and lives on Signal Mountain.


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