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Commission chooses to end pay dispute with planner

John Thompson • Updated Jan 21, 2020 at 10:08 PM

ELIZABETHTON — In a surprise move at the end of Tuesday night’s Carter County Commission meeting, the commissioners voted overwhelmingly to end a pay dispute with Carter County Planning Director Chris Schuettler.

Only two of the 24 county commissioners, Mark Blevins and Willie Campbell, voted against the motion.

The motion will allow Schuettler to keep the $14,000 that he received from the county while he was performing the extra duty of project manager for various construction projects for the county government. While the commission had requested Schuettler to perform the extra duties, there had never been an agreement on how much he should be complemented.

The commission later voted to request the $14,000 be returned.

In other matters, the commission voted to encourage the General Assembly to support legislation that will require TennCare to compensate group ambulance providers at a rate other than the current Medicare fee schedule.

The commissioners also voted to change the county’s policy on how construction change orders are approved. The intent was to identify specific county personnel who are solely authorized to approve change orders.

One other proposed change in policy was defeated. A proposal was considered that would have required commissioners to change committee assignments every two years. Commissioner Mike Hill spoke against the proposal, saying more time was needed to learn about the committees.

Sonya Culler agreed and said that changes in the recycling center would have been made much more difficult last fall if a whole new group of commissioners had to rotate onto the committee.

On a happy note, the state champion Elizabethton High School football team was honored by the commission. It marked the second time in a week that a local legislative body had honored the team. Last Thursday, the Elizabethton City Council honored the Cyclones.

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