Council pleased with Town Manager Veal's performance

After nearly six months as town manager, Boyd Veal seems to have quelled any of the Town Council's concerns about his ability to do the job.

The council voted Veal in as interim town manager after firing former town manager Chris Dorsey in a 3-2 vote in January. A month later, the council voted to make Veal the official town manager.

The only council member to voice any hesitancy was Bill Wallace, who said he didn't want the town to hire a caretaker instead of someone who would propel the town forward. (Read previous coverage at

Now, the councilman said his concerns have "absolutely" been satisfied.

"I think Bo Veal is doing a heck of a job," Wallace said. "The guy is very thorough, thoughtful, brings a new level of experience and maturity to that job. I think the town is very blessed to have him."

In his tenure as town manager, Veal has successfully put the fiscal year 2014-2015 budget to bed. That required transitioning from his role as head of the Signal Mountain Police Department to working with every department on its budget.

"As a department head, for the most part, the focus is operations and expenditures," Veal said. "It wasn't that different [in working with the budget as a whole], I just applied it to different departments. Your focus isn't inappropriately in one area or another; each department is important to the town for different reasons."

He added that he had the least experience in working with revenue projections but was aided by Finance Director Carol White.

To boost his experience and knowledge with planning a budget, Veal is also halfway through the Certified Municipal Finance Officer program. Veal's participation in the program was one reason Mayor Bill Lusk said he was confident voting to hire Veal as town manager in February.

"I hope he chooses to stay in the job for a long, long time," said Lusk.

"It has been very busy and very positive. We've gotten a lot accomplished," Veal said. "I feel that the last roughly six months we've moved in a very positive and productive manner and direction, and that's every bit as much a result of the department heads as it is me."