Gatlinburg recognizes outstanding employees

Apr. 10, 2014 @ 11:44 PM

In a meeting Monday evening, the Gatlinburg City Commission recognized outstanding city employees and units for exceeding expecations in the normal line of work in the first quarter of 2014.

City Manager Cindy Ogle presented each person and unit with a plaque and read the deeds that warranted recognition from the city.

In January, Alex Morris of the Gatlinburg Convention Center found, while cleaning up after an event at the convention center, an offering bucket containing money that had been forgotten by an organization’s staff. Morris notified the event manager on duty and brought it to the office to be secured.

Also in January, Archie Hatcher of the street department was working icy roads on Dudley Creek. His vehicle was almost hit by an SUV, which hit the embankment and rolled onto its side, trapping the driver and passenger inside. Hatcher helped the two escape the vehicle.

Trent Grove, a jailer/dispatcher at the police department, was stranded at work during a February snowstorm. He had come into work early, before the snowstorm, and because of scheduling conflicts, he worked the 3 to 11 p.m. shift alone. Grove was unable to go home after the shift ended, so he spent the night at the police department, and then worked and early shift alone the next day when weather prevented others from getting to work.

Tim Jenkins and Eric Weeks of the sanitation department helped an elderly woman whose vehicle broke down while turning at a Parkway traffic light. The two blocked traffic with their container truck and rolled the vehicle to the Atrium Restaurant parking lot.

Scott Price, Lee Hickam and Jeremy Ogle helped improve a new property near the service center on Newman Road, the future home of a trolley storage shelter area. The project included constructing a 100-foot privacy fence, raising and leveling the building, repairing and replacing plumbing work, demolishing and reconstructing the floor of the building and reconstructing the outside deck. The work significantly improved the property and the building, and saved the city a considerable amount of money.

During the regular meeting, the commission also unanimously approved the following:

  • A request for the use of the aquarium parking garage for the Sevier County Food Ministry’s Fiesta Event on Tuesday, April 29
  • A request for the use of the Fred McMahan Parking Garage on Friday, May 9, from the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts
  • Ratifying an appointment of Vic Barrett to the Gatlinburg Airport Authority Board of Directors
  • Appointing Bud Ogle to the Gatlinburg Public Building Authority Board of Directors
  • Making appointments to the Gatlinburg Recreation Board. All six whose terms were expiring, Al Shirley, Allen Cox, Buster Flynn, Larry McMahan, Lester Flynn and Whit Helton, were reappointed
  • A resolution adopting the State of Tennessee Deferred Compensation Plan II, 401(k) and approving the employer agreement
  • An other-than-the-low bid to Wanco Inc. for the purchase of a police radar trailer
  • A contract with Jarvis Award, Flag and Sign Co., for the fabrication and installation of wayfinding signage
  • The renewal of the BlueCross BlueShield dental insurance plan

Before the meeting, several citizens brought concerns to the commissioners to consider. Many were concerned about the safety of city crosswalks on the Parkway. Another issue: Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales not visiting certain parts of Gatlinburg.

Citizen Kay Morton spoke about the recently approved resolution that names individual seats on the city commission. In an election, those running for commission now need to specify a seat.

“Personally, I think it’s terrible,” Morton said. “This is going to discourage people from running, it’s going to perpetuate the status quo and it’s just not right.”

jold@themountainpress.com