Cooling-off period proposed for Harriman council

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By Cindy Simpson

Harriman elected officials may find it harder to seek city employment after they have served.

A policy proposed by Harriman City Councilman Lonnie Wright would require at least four years between an elected official’s time in office and any employment with the city.

“I think it is a good ordinance,” Wright said.

He said he’d heard from residents who were concerned a city official might resign and seek an office like the newly established city manager position.

Councilman J.D. Sampson thought four years might be too long.

“After your term is up, your obligation to the city is over with,” said Sampson.

Councilman Ken Mynatt said he thought the ordinance went a long way toward open government.

“The intent of the ordinance is to be open and above-board with all our employment,” said Mynatt.

The lapse would keep an elected official from having access to privileged knowledge about future positions coming open.

The employment change would only change regarding part-time and full-time workers, not contract workers.

The ordinance establishing separation period passed first reading last week.

In other business, city council agreed to extend the terms of board representation for the terms ending June 30 until Sept. 1. That is when new or re-elected council members would take office after the Aug. 7 election.