Gas manager requirements revisited by city

Chandler Inions, The Lebanon Democrat, Tenn.
·2 min read

Apr. 8—The Lebanon City Council discussed adjusting qualifications for Jerry Snodgrass' successor as the city's gas manager at its meeting Tuesday.

Terms in the job description, specifically a degree requirement and potential pay scale, met a divided council that had to be decided by a mayoral tie-breaking vote.

Ward One Councilor Joey Carmack suggested that the job description change the wording from college degree "required" to "preferred."

Additionally, Carmack suggested a background that included 15 years experience in the natural gas industry, preferable with municipal department experience, as well as five years in a management or supervisory position.

Head of Human Resources Sylvia Reichle said that she would be concerned about taking the degree requirement out and replacing it with an experiential requirement that's "not always equivalent."

Reichle recommended that if the degree requirement was removed the job remain a grade L paid position but said that if it was retained, the pay scale should adjust to a grade M. She based this recommendation on industry standards and comparable market averages.

Lebanon uses an employee pay scale that is alphabetized, ranging from A to P, with P being the highest paid. Department heads are classified as Grade O.

Lebanon Commissioner of Public Works Jeff Baines said that he wanted to keep the requirement in.

Mayor Rick Bell said that he felt like the pay scale should be moved to grade M. He justified this because the gas department specifically deals in commodities and thus an understanding of marketing fluctuations is needed.

Bell agreed with Carmack that not every degree is created equal, and that a candidate out there without a college diploma could be qualified. However, the mayor didn't want to budge from his position on the job being in the grade M pay scale.

The council voted about splitting the original motion into two questions, basically whether the description should be changed and whether the pay scale should be adjusted. Since the council was split evenly, Bell cast the deciding vote to view it as two separate questions.

When the vote to keep the department pay scale at M, approval was met unanimously.

However, when the description question arose to change the wording, the council voted 4-2 to drop the degree requirement. Ward 4 Councilor Chris Crowell and Ward 6 Councilor Jeni Lind Brinkman cast dissenting votes.