By Jim Young
The day following a city council meeting with a couple of uncomfortable moments, Crossville City Manager Bruce Wyatt tendered his resignation.
Wyatt's letter of resignation, addressed to the mayor and council members, said his style of management did not seem conducive to the current political environment. Wyatt continued, “I have struggled to adjust to the new environment, but I find myself distracted and unable to focus on the responsibilities of manager."
The letter closes, “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as your city manager and I wish continued growth and prosperity for our fine city.”
A special-called meeting has been set for Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. to appoint an interim city manager until a new manager can be hired.
Crossville Mayor J. H. Graham III said Wednesday night, “It is with extreme sorrow and regret that I have accepted the resignation of Bruce Wyatt as city manager. Mr. Wyatt was an outstanding manager and used business experience and expertise to provide a great example of leadership. I will miss him greatly.”
Councilman Pete Souza expressed “profound regret” about the manager's resignation. Souza described Waytt as honest and that he had “contributed a lot (to the city), but it was his decision and I respect it.”
Two uncomfortable items on the city council's agenda Tuesday included a complaint by Randal Kidwell over a contract for environmental work on a wetlands remediation project. Kidwell felt his proposal was not given adequate consideration before the contract for the work was awarded to the company that used to employ him.
Also discussed during the city manager's report was the qualifications of city engineer Tim Begley by Councilman Jesse Kerley. Kerley had requested information about a 1999 motion to offer Begley the chance to get his professional engineer's (PE) license. The city was looking to hire an engineer at the time and the motion was to give Begley a chance to move into the position while authorizing expenses for an engineer to stamp plans in the meantime.
Bruce Wyatt praised Begley's skill and work ethic and his long tenure with the city and the projects he has overseen.
"There is not a more dedicated, loyal, talented, hard working city employee than Mr. Begley," Wyatt said.
Kerley said his question was “would Mr. Begley live up to the opportunity the council in 1999 afforded to him.”
Kerley continued that he felt having a PE on staff would save the city considerable amount of money.
Councilman George Marlow pointed out that, as council members, they could not tell a city employee what to do except through the city manager. Souza asked the manager to discuss the matter with Begley.
Bruce Wyatt was hired as the city manager in October 2011 and served in the position for 18 months.