The Nolensville Board of Mayor and Aldermen will meet electronically on Thursday where they are expected to vote to fill the vacant town administrator position as well as changes to responsibilities and power for both the mayor and the town administrator.
BOMA will also take up the second reading of the budget and tax rate for the next fiscal year.
The town administrator position that was left vacant in February after Scott Collins resigned after one month on the job is expected to be offered to Donald Anthony who has served the city in the role of town planner since October 2019.
Alderman Wendy Cook-Mucci has taken up the challenge of adapting the town’s current charter to address some of the town’s public growing pains with three ordinances.
These ordinances are aimed at relieving some of the duties of the mayor and allowing the town administrator to have more power in daily operations of the town, including preparing meeting agendas with the town recorder, final authority over personnel matters in cooperation with the board, as well as addressing the creation and appointment of committees and their members.
Cook-Mucci has been detailing the proposed ordinances on her Facebook page. She has said that she hopes she can bring some change to the system in order to better work with the needs of how to effectively operate growing town.
“So why does passing 20-12, 20-13, 20-14 mean dramatic change? It means a significant difference in the duties and responsibilities of the Mayor and The TA, as well as the rest of the board — differences like allowing the mayor to focus on the important work of leading the town by networking, developing and maintaining relationships that are necessary to move items forward in the political landscape, while TA can focus on the day-to-day tasks of keeping our town running smoothly It’s a system that will be better balanced, more efficient, and more collaborative,” the post reads.
Cook-Mucci has gained the support of fellow BOMA members in her efforts to adapt the town government policies and procedures, all while the citizen-led group Better Nolensville reached a milestone in its campaign to change the town’s charter, having received unanimous approval by the Williamson County Election Commission on May 20 to have the referendum on the ballot for voters on Aug. 6.
The movement has gained steam and attention since the group announced intentions in February and earned more than 3,000 signatures from voters in three months.
The effort has been supported by Alderman Derek Adams, who has said that while efforts like Cook-Mucci’s to adapt the town’s current charter are good steps, he maintains that the best path forward for the town is to change to a City Manager-Commission System.
The issue of a charter change has been a hot topic for residents and members of BOMA for the past few months, with Aldermen Larry Felts and Tommy Duggar standing opposed to the move, both saying that the change can be done with Cook-Mucci’s efforts and both citing concerns over possibly losing impact fees after discussions with the Municipal Technical Advisory Service.
Alderman Adams has proposed an ordinance that will be discussed during Thursday night's BOMA meeting o address the issue.
At the end of last week’s special called BOMA meeting intended solely to interview Anthony for the position of Town Administrator, Mayor Jimmy Alexander spoke on the referendum, which was initially not captured on the town’s livestream until it was turned back on Mayor Alexander said, “I haven’t told anyone I guess, but the town is pursuing legal help in regards to whatever group that was that got the petitions.”
Cook-Mucci, Adams and Duggar, who were still on the conference call all voiced their opposition to the Mayor’s announcement and mayor’s lack of transparency in the matter, which had no clarifications on if that “legal help” was being pursued by the Mayor as an individual or by the Town of Nolensville as an entity.
None of the Alderman have expressed any knowledge of the details of the Mayor’s claims, and neither the Mayor nor the Town Attorney returned a request for comment on clarification of the comments.
Adams acknowledged the lack of transparency with the livestream in a Facebook post after the meeting in which he apologized for the error which came about as the meeting had officially ended before the Mayor spoke on the issue.
“Unbeknownst to me, the recording was turned off so much of the conversation occurred without it being recorded. I apologize for that. As soon as I realized it wasn't being recorded, I requested the recording be turned on for the sake of transparency, and to follow the Open Meetings Act,” Adam’s post reads.
Thursday night's BOMA meeting will also see the second reading of the town's budget and tax rate for fiscal year 2021.
The meeting will be live-streamed on the town's website on Thursday at 7 p.m.