Erwin Mayor Doris Hensley said the town received 25 applications for the post from across the surrounding area. On Monday, the Erwin Board of Mayor and Aldermen met in a work session to discuss the applications and choose the candidates to be interviewed. She said town officials were seeking an individual with some formal education, local government experience, good decision-making and communication skills, and a strong business acumen.
The board narrowed the candidates down to Matt Garland, Glenn Rosenoff and Mark Lafever.
Garland has a master’s degree in public management and is employed with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development as a business development consultant. Previously, Garland worked with the state as a regional economic development specialist and, prior to that, he was the community development coordinator for the First Tennessee Development District.
Rosenoff holds a master’s degree in city management and is employed by the FTDD in the agency’s planning department. Prior to this, he was the regional director of planning with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.
Lafever is the town’s public works director and is pursing a degree in business administration from East Tennessee State University. He is a former Erwin alderman and is a Unicoi County Gas Utility District commissioner.
Hensley said she feels any of the candidates would bring experience and familiarity with the area to the position.
“I think any of these three would make an excellent city recorder,” she said. “Mr. Garland knows this area very well. During his employment with the Development District, he did grants for us. He’s knowledgeable in grant writing. He’s also knowledgeable in industrial recruitment, and his degree he has in public management makes him very qualified to be the city recorder.
“The same is for Mr. Rosenoff. He also knows this area. Right now, he represents us on our Planning Commission. He’s very knowledgeable about our zoning, so that would be a plus for him, too. And with his degree, I think it would qualify him as city recorder. Mr. Lafever, he certainly knows the area. The people here know him. He has done an excellent job with our street department. He knows everything about the city.
“So it’s going to be a tough decision, one I’m sure I’ll have many sleepless hours over.”
The town recorder position is soon-to-be-vacant due to the resignation of Randy Trivette, who had served as town recorder since 2004. Trivette, who has accepted a job with Free Will Baptist Family Ministries, submitted his letter of resignation to Hensley on Aug. 30. His last day as town recorder will be Friday.
Hensley said town officials hope to have a candidate selected to fill the position by Tuesday.
“I don’t know that it’s going to happen or not,” she said. “Like I said before, that’s the goal, but we are going to take our time and make sure we select the one that is most fitting for this position.”
Hensley said she will interview two of the candidates today, and the third will be interviewed Friday. She said she will make a recommendation on the applicant to be hired, and this recommendation will be sent to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen for its confirmation. She said the starting date for the person hired will depend on how the process plays out.
“If we can come to a consensus on who we think is going to be the best fit for this position, then I will notify that person and it will depend on them,” she said. “I know they all have current jobs, and it might be that they need to have a 10-day notice and, certainly, we’ll go along with their needs.”