Mooresville’s town manager has a busy week ahead of him.
The Oak Ridge city council will decide who it’s hiring on Friday, Aug. 18. But first, the two finalists — Hemann and Aretha R. Ferrell-Benavides, who was most recently city manager in Duncanville, TX — will spend a few days touring Oak Ridge, getting to know city staff and having one-on-one meetings with council members.
The two candidates are expected to be in Oak Ridge from tomorrow through Thursday. They will participate in a public forum on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. The city council plans to make its final decision in a special-called meeting Friday at 4 p.m.
When the council narrowed its field of candidates from six to three earlier this month, Hemann received votes from six of seven council members. Ferrell-Benavides garnered votes from all seven.
Back in Mooresville, the town’s human resources director, Tiffany Shelley, would not immediately confirm Hemann’s current salary, which is a public record. His salary, however, is $223,664 — up nearly $40,000 from his salary of $185,000 when he was hired here four years ago, in August 2019.
His employment contract, also a public record that the town has yet to release to the Scoop after we requested it on Aug. 1, details that Hemann can only be fired from the Town of Mooresville “for cause” and includes the following causes:
- If he is convicted of a felony or misdemeanor (other than a minor traffic violation) involving assault, theft, alcohol, controlled substances or moral turpitude.
- If he becomes physically or mentally disabled to the extent he can’t perform the normal and usual duties required of him under the employment contract.
- If he repeatedly fails or refuses, after written notice from the town board signed by a majority of the board members and with all members having knowledge of the notice, to follow reasonable policies or directives established by the board.
- If he willfully and persistently fails, after written notice from the town board signed by a majority of the board members and with all members having knowledge of the notice, to attend to material duties or obligations imposed upon him under the employment contract.
- If he engages in a material conflict of interest with his obligation to the town.
- If he violates any provision of the personnel policy applicable to town employees if such violation would be grounds for termination of an employee under the same or similar conditions or circumstances.
Without meeting any of the causes, Hemann would currently collect one year of his salary — or $223,564 — if the town board would fire him.
On the other hand, if he decides to resign, according to the contract, he has to give the town a minimum of 60 days’ notice, and his last day of employment effectively cancels his contract with the town.