Harriman won't put manager on ballot

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By Cindy Simpson

Harriman voters won’t get a say on whether they would like to have a city manager-style of government.
At least not yet.
While some Harriman City Council members have said they’d prefer a decision from city voters over having to make one themselves, that’s not how the majority voted last week when council member Ken Mynatt took steps toward giving constituents that choice on the Nov. 2 ballot.
“This way, we let the citizens decide,” he proposed in making a motion to that end.
Mynatt and council member Buddy Holley, who seconded the motion, were the only ones to support the effort.
“We’ve got to do something about the day to day operations of city government,” Holley said.
It became quickly clear that the motion would fail during discussion of the issue before the vote. That’s when other council members chimed in ideas for alternatives to the manager form of government.
“I think a lot of people know how I feel about it,” council member J.D. Sampson said. “A city administrator can do the exact same thing, and we don’t have to change the charter.”
Sampson and council members Kenyon Mee, Chase Tedder and Lonnie Wright voted to defeat the motion.
City officials decided years ago to test the waters toward a manager-style government by creating a coordinator position. Bob Tidwell has served in that job since then, but his powers are limited.