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LaFollette City Council appoints Police Chief Jeffries interim city administrator

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By PETER SAWYER

At Tuesday night’s meeting, the LaFollette City Council appointed Police Chief Jimmy Jeffries interim city administrator.
“I talked to the police chief the other day,” council member Joe Bolinger said. “He’s in here every day. He said he’d consider it.”
Bolinger made the motion to appoint Jeffries interim city administrator. Council member Stephanie Grimm seconded the motion. Grimm, Bolinger and council member Bob Fannon voted yes. Council member Hansford Hatmaker voted no.
“If this is what the city of LaFollette needs me to do for a month or two, until they hire a full-time city administrator, then I’ll be happy to fill the position to the best of my abilities,” Jeffries said.
Increasing Jeffries’ salary wasn’t brought up at the meeting. He won’t receive a pay increase as far as Mayor Mike Stanfield knows, Stanfield said Wednesday morning.
LaFollette was left without a city administrator when interim city administrator Cade Sexton resigned last month. Sexton’s resignation came in the middle of an investigation into a West Tennessee automobile accident involving Sexton and Hatmaker. Jeffries was placed in charge of the investigation.
The last time a temporary city administrator was appointed, LaFollette Finance Director Terry Sweat filled the role.
“Terry’s got more stuff in the fire than he can handle,” Stanfield said. “He really didn’t have the time to do it.”
Jeffries will continue to serve as police chief while he acts as interim city administrator, Jeffries said Tuesday night.
“I don’t have anything against Jimmy,” Hatmaker said, explaining his reasons for voting against Jeffries’ appointment as interim city administrator after the meeting.
Jeffries is in charge of the biggest department in the city, Hatmaker said.
“He’s got 19 officers under his supervision,” Hatmaker said. “The man’s already loaded to the gills keeping his department straight.”
Hatmaker feels it wasn’t a wise choice to add to Jeffries’ responsibilities.
“There’s no bigger fool than we fool ourselves,” he said.
Tuesday night, the council also approved advertising for a full-time city administrator. So far, about two candidates have already submitted applications for the job, Stanfield said. The council will accept applications for about a month, Stanfield said. After reviewing the applications, the council will interview about two or three candidates before selecting a city administrator, Stanfield said.