2 officials quit as town sinks further into personal, financial despair

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By Beth Braden

JELLICO—One alderman and the town’s contracted certified municipal finance officer have severed ties with the financially troubled town.
Last Thursday evening, resignation letters from Alderman Darrell Byrge and CMFO Sondra Denton were read aloud during the regularly scheduled meeting.
Byrge, who was once tourism and finance chairperson, no longer believes the board has the town’s best interest at heart.
“I’ve wanted nothing but the best for Jellico and I believe this council, at one time, did as well. In recent months I feel council persons have made issues personal rather than focusing on the city’s best interest,” he wrote.  
Denton, who arrived in Jellico last December following the resignation of former town recorder Linda Douglas, terminated her contract because of ill relations with the board.
“I have worked diligently with mayor Stiers and Jackie Richardson along with other office staff to get the books in a working and manageable condition, yet I would receive comments and hostile attitudes from some of the [alderman],” her note said.
Several board members have publicly questioned the necessity of Denton’s fees.
For her time, she was compensated $95 per hour plus travel expenses.
The board had just approved a contract with Denton at the beginning of August to allow her to help train new town recorder Jennifer Hicks.  
The town will be looking for part-time CMFO help elsewhere until  Hicks can complete her CMFO training.