The Mt. Juliet Board of Commissioners plans to appoint a representative for District 2 on Jan. 11 after formally approving a process on Dec. 14.

Residents interested in applying are asked to submit their names to the city recorder by Monday, giving the current commissioners time to interview them before making their decision.

“You put your name out there, I think a lot of people have sent a resume, and then the commissioners will have an opportunity from the 28th to the 11th to get with the applicants,” Mayor James Maness, who previously held District 2’s seat, said.

In a major change to the appointment process, the resolution caps debate at 30 minutes. That decision was made because of the commission’s July 22, 2019 meeting, when a disagreement over filling a vacated seat left commissioners stuck in city hall unwilling to adjourn but without business to conduct.

“It’s pretty open-ended about how we make this appointment,” Maness said at the commission’s December meeting. “I would recommend limiting the debate, setting a debate limit on that of 30 minutes for the items so we can move along, so as not to potentially have a stare-down and a need to eat dinner at the table.”

The person appointed to represent District 2 will fill out the rest of Maness’ term through November 2022.

Commissioners also passed an ordinance that would see the city’s emergency services paid for through the general fund beginning next budget cycle, and a series of amendments to this year’s budget. Among those is a $45,500 expense for 13 new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) units for the Mt. Juliet Fire Department.

“What’s going to happen is in the next two to three years the FireHawk unit that we use now will not be able to be serviced,” Fire Chief Jamie Luffman said, noting that the manufacturer is starting a next-generation product line. “We’ll be having to add off-brand pieces and parts to make those work.”

Luffman said the 13 new units come at half price, which means $45,500 in savings. They have an estimated 11 years of service life and cover a third of the department’s fleet.

“This is just the first of many opportunities that we’re going to be seeking out,” he said. “This is obviously a humongous expense and we’re a small department, but we’re going to be looking for deals … between now and the next two to three years.”

The Mt. Juliet Board of Commissioners’ next meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 28, at the city’s administration building on 2425 N. Mt. Juliet Road.

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