Aldermen in uproar

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A close 4-to-3 Woodbury Board of Aldermen vote for the post of city manager has resulted in an uproar on Facebook.
Shane Gannon came out on top with Ray Hunt placing a close second.

"Well, I voted for Shane. I felt that he having worked with the water department in Murfreesboro was qualified," said Mayor Harold Patrick.
"It was a 4-3 split decision. We had two qualified candidates. Shane will do a good job despite what is being said on the Internet. He is a qualified candidate," Patrick said.

Voting for Gannon were Patrick and Aldermen Lois Larimer, Jo Ann Davis and Adam Melton.

Voting no were Aldermen Dotty Duggin, Vice Mayor Charlie Harrell and Faye Northcutt-Knox.

"I have no problem with Shane Gannon, but I voted no. He's a good man and I have no problem with him but I voted no because we already had a full-time employee who was qualified for the job," Vice Mayor Harrell said.

Harrell was among those who favored Ray Hunt for the post. Hunt, a former Consolidated Utility District employee, has a class 4 water treatment license, a class 3 license and a license for water distribution.

Much of the Internet dispute has to do with Alderman Adam Melton who originally said he favored Hunt.

"I told Adam to vote his conscience for the candidate he thought was best," Patrick said.
"I've never asked you or anyone to vote for someone just because I am voting for them."

Alderman Dotty Duggin is still upset over the uproar.

"I was assigned on a committee to do some interviews of potential candidates for the job and to report back to the mayor," Duggin said.

"We interviewed Mr. Gannon and Mr. Hunt and Mr. Hunt was, by far, the most qualified with certifications in water treatment," she said.

"I had no qualms against Mr. Gannon. It was strictly due to Mr. Hunt's qualifications. We also had two other applicants from the city of Woodbury who were qualified," Duggin said.

Gannon's experience was working in maintenance for the city of Murfreesboro, while Hunt's was working in water treatment with CUD.

At the Board of Aldermen meeting, Duggin read from the town code where hiring preferences should be given to existing Woodbury employees.

"I made my recommendation and it failed," she said. "Why would you hire someone who is not qualified? It just doesn't add up."

Despite the vote, Duggin intends to work with Gannon in his new post.

"We will do our best to work with whoever the town of Woodbury hires," she said.

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