Everyone living in Cumberland County is a Cumberland County resident. They pay county taxes. If their children attend public schools, they attend county schools.

But there are areas of our county that have organized into municipalities — the city of Crossville, the town of Pleasant Hill and the city of Crab Orchard.

These municipalities are governed by city and town councils elected by their residents and property owners. There are five members of the Crossville City Council, three on the Crab Orchard City Council and five on the Pleasant Hill Town Council.

Cities are created by municipal charters, the governing documents that outlines how a municipal government will work. 

The city of Crossville is the largest municipality in the county, with about 11,000 residents. It operates on sales tax from the businesses operating within its city limits and property taxes. 

The Crossville City Council includes Mayor James Mayberry and councilmen RJ Crawford, Scot Shanks, Art Gernt and Rob Harrison. The council approves the city property tax rate and annual budget. It also sets policy for the city, such as ordinances that govern property development, and sets long-term goals for the city, like the development of recreational facilities.

The Crossville City Council meets the first Tuesday of each month at 5 p.m. at City Hall for a work session. This is when they discuss items they will be considering during the monthly meeting, held the second Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m.

As the city mayor, Mayberry presides at meetings and signs ordinances and other documents approved by the council.

The council also hires the city manager, a full-time employee who handles day-to-day oversight of the city’s operations. Greg Wood is the Crossville city manager.

The city provides police and fire protection to its residents through the Crossville Police Department and the Crossville Fire Department. These entities are separate from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office and the Cumberland County Fire Department, both in funding and oversight.

The city of Crossville also operates water and sewer utilities. These are “enterprise funds,” meaning their operation is separate from the city’s general fund. They are funded by their customers.

If you do not own property or live in the city of Crossville, you do not pay city property taxes. However, when you shop in the city, they get a portion of the sales taxes from your purchases. 

Crossville is the only municipality in the county with a property tax. Pleasant Hill and Crab Orchard fund their governments through sales tax and state-shared taxes. 

Lisa Patrick is the mayor of Pleasant Hill, with Linda Smith as vice mayor and council members Franklin Cobos, Don Dowdey and Peggy Happy.

The Pleasant Hill council meetings are held the second Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. at Town Hall.

Emmett Sherrill is the mayor of Crab Orchard. He is joined on the Board of Aldermen by Ken Alley and Mike Findley.

Their meetings are held the second Tuesday of the month at Crab Orchard City Hall, 338 Hebbertsburg Rd. beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Meetings of city councils, board of aldermen or town councils are also open meetings under Tennessee’s Open Meetings Law.

Heather Mullinix is editor of the Crossville Chronicle. She covers schools and education in Cumberland County. She may be reached at hmullinix@crossville-chronicle.com.

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