The city of Millington has resumed the search for its next professional manager after former resident Ed Haley rescinded his acceptance of the job offer.
At a special meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday night, Interim City Manager Mike Chesney noted that he met with Haley earlier that day. He said Haley’s “change of heart” was for “really good personal reasons.”
“And I guess I’m just glad that we had a resolution of that now, instead of later,” he said. “So, we are moving on.”
Chesney also said Ronnie Neill of The University of Tennessee’s Municipal Technical Advisory Service will meet with him this week.
“We are reviewing names, making phone calls and looking at interviews,” he noted. “And I hope to have some information for you relatively soon.”
The board voted unanimously on Jan 13 to employ Haley and to authorize Mayor Terry Jones, City Attorney Charles Perkins and Chesney to negotiate a contract with him. A former Millington alderman and member of the Municipal Airport Authority, Haley is a past recipient of the Millington Jaycees’ and the Millington Area Chamber of Commerce’s Person of the Year Award.
While serving in the Tennessee House of Representatives for eight years, he was a three-time recipient of the Legislator of the Year Award.
A member of the Tennessee City Managers Association since 2003, he is employed as Arlington’s town superintendent.
During a special meeting on Aug. 12, 2013, the board hired Chesney as interim city manager. That was one week after it voted to terminate the employment of Thomas Christie, who had served for seven months as the city’s first professional manager.
At the conclusion of his first report to the board during its Sept. 3 meeting, Chesney requested that an opening for the permanent position be posted on the city’s Web site.
He has said that, when the board asked him and the mayor to find a new city manager, they approached the task “very seriously.”
He noted that, whenever he has been involved in searches, he has always relied on a “third party” for advice. And in this case, he contacted Neill. Chesney recalled that, as he, Jones and Neill talked with the 22 applicants for the position, one name kept “surfacing.”
While initially accepting the job offer at the Jan. 13 meeting, Haley acknowledged that he had not yet informed Arlington Mayor Mike Wissman, because he never attempts to “second-guess” what will happen in the “political arena.”
During an interview after the meeting, Haley said he would call Wissman that evening and give him a letter the following morning “explaining the decision.” Because he had planned to give Arlington two weeks’ notice, he initially said his “objective” was to be in Millington on Feb. 1.