Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield will fill Paul Page's position

Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield will fill Paul Page's position

October 11th, 2011 by Cliff Hightower in News

Paul Page, Chattanooga's director of general services

Paul Page, Chattanooga's director of general services

Mayor Ron Littlefield will name a successor to recently retired Director of General Services Paul Page but has no timeline to do so, his spokesman said Monday.

"When the mayor decides to hire, he will fill the position," Richard Beeland said. The position, he said, is "not going anywhere."

Page retired from the position last week amid intense public scrutiny of two sexual harassment claims. Both incidents occurred just months apart in 2008 and involved different women, according to newspaper archives.

He had been disciplined for one incident, and a federal investigation ruled just months ago he was guilty of a second infraction.

The city hired Page in July 2005 as director of asset management. Littlefield served as a reference when Page applied for that job.

Months later, Littlefield created the director-level position and appointed Page to the post.

Danny Thornton, the city's real property manager, is serving as acting director of general services.

The City Council will vote on a resolution next week that will allow Thornton to have the same authority to sign documents that Page had.

As the city's top executive, Littlefield has the ultimate responsibility and power to name a department head and to create or disband city departments.

On Monday, two council members said keeping the position is necessary.

"Someone does need to head up the core services we bid," Council Chairwoman Pam Ladd said.

When the mayor decides to fill the position, there should be a search, either within the city's departments or an outside person, she said.

"I don't favor one over the other," she said.

Councilman Jack Benson said the General Services Department oversees vital services such as purchasing and contracting.

"We've got to keep the office meeting its responsibilities," he said. "All those duties have to be assumed by somebody."

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