By Michelle Price
Special to the UCBJ
COOKEVILLE – Cookeville City Manager James Mills was praised by the Cookeville City Council on his service to the city, receiving a 4.73 out of 5.0 rating. After words of praise from each councilperson in attendance, the council also voted to raise Mills’ salary to $152,000 per year.
City attorney Dan Rader read highlights from his compilation of each councilperson’s evaluation forms on Mills’ performance. Rader said the results of particular importance show that on Business and Finance Mills scored a 4.95 on 5.0 scale and on Council Relationships he scored 4.83 on a 5.0 scale.
“The total compilation (score) for a whole, over 50 different criteria that the council evaluated Mr. Mills – the grade was 4.73, which if you were in school would be a 95, a solid A,” Rader said. “So, I think any way you look at this it’s an outstanding…I think your evaluations, each independently, recognize that he’s done an outstanding job over the past year.”
“Leadership is found in times of crisis,” Councilman Eric Walker said. “We’ve certainly been in that a few times in the past two years. And you’ve done a great job leading us and leading our city and all your work as city manager has been outstanding, so thank you very much.”
Councilman Chuck Womack agreed, “I’ve worked with several city managers,
and I think you’re doing and excellent job.”
“I can’t tell you how big of an advocate he is for the city employees,” Councilman Mark Miller said. “All those raises and everything the city employees have gotten it’s because James has worked with Brenda and really worked hard to get those raises for our city employees. That’s one reason why I feel comfortable with giving Mr. Mills a raise is because he has been able to help all our city employees.”
Mills commented, “We’re blessed to live in Cookeville, but I could not do my job without the fantastic employees we’ve got. If there’s a better group of department directors in the state of Tennessee and the country, I don’t believe it. I’m so blessed to work with these guys and gals, it makes my job a lot easier.”