published Thursday, May 8th, 2014

East Ridge raises salary of city manager

The East Ridge City Council voted Thursday to raise the salary for City Manager Andrew Hyatt to $100,000, effective immediately.

Hyatt, who was previously manager of the Tennessee cities of Fairview and Etowah, has been the city manager for the southeast Tennessee municpality of about 21,000 for just over six-months.

Hyatt began his term with the City of East Ridge on Oct. 21, 2013, at a salary of $90,000 a year. Hyatt was also offered $4,000 in moving expenses, two weeks of paid vacation, health insurance and use of the city's Volkswagon Passat.

Councilman Marc Gravitt made the motion to increase Hyatt's pay, calling it "a bargain" compared to what the previous city manager had cost the city.

Prior to the council voting to hire Hyatt, the position of city manager had been empty for about eight months since the previous position was vacated by Tim Gobble's resignation on Feb. 7, 2013.

Gobble, who had been initially hired in early May, 2011, at a salary of almost $117,000, was making around $125,000 when he resigned.

The vote by the council was four to one in favor of offering Hyatt the 11 percent raise.

Councilman Larry Sewell, the only one voting in opposition to the salary increase, said that he didn't intend any offense to Hyatt, but that he thought they should address raising his pay when they addressed the budget.

Mayor Brent Lambert agreed that it would have been better to deal with the issue of the pay increase while figuring out the budget, but still voted in favor of the raise.

The council agreed to meet Thursday, May 15, at 5:30 p.m., to hold their first budget workshop.

Contact staff writer Alex Harris at aharris@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6592.

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