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Signal Mountain recently gained a town manager but lost a police chief.

Longtime Signal Mountain Police Chief Boyd Veal was unanimously voted as Signal Mountain's official town manager at the Feb. 28 council work session. Veal had been acting as interim town manager after former Town Manager Chris Dorsey was fired in January.

"I personally think we have a great candidate right here if he wants it," Mayor Bill Lusk said in reference to Veal. "He's really dug in and uncovered a lot of loose ends that are out there."

Councilwoman Annette Allen and Vice Mayor Susan Robertson agreed.

"One of his huge strengths is looking at things very deeply from lots of different perspectives," said Allen. "I'd be very happy to see him maintain the position."

Councilman Bill Wallace was the only one to express some hesitancy.

"I wouldn't want the town to get in to a caretaker type of town manager," he said. "I believe we need vision and leadership. Not to say Boyd [Veal] is not already doing that, but the town needs to keep moving forward."

Fellow councilman Dick Gee remained silent, though cast his vote in favor of hiring for Veal for the position.

Veal was named assistant town manager last October, and before that he assumed interim responsibilities whenever a town manager was not in office or was on leave. Lusk said Veal is also currently seeking to become a Certified Municipal Finance Officer.

"I want to do the job you want me to do," Veal said. "I guess the only way I can address [Wallace's] concern is I've felt a little restricted in the last couple of months because of the nature of my position. I see things we need to do and ways we might need to improve. I will make mistakes but I will do everything I can to avoid that at all costs."

Council members voted Veal's new yearly salary at $90, 376. As police chief and assistant town manager he was making roughly $72,000 per year.

Veal and the council discussed moving Capt. Scott Ogrodowczyk in to the now-open police chief position. Veal said he wants to give Ogrodowczyk more time - a couple of months - to grow into the position.

"It's not a matter of doubt, it's a matter of opportunity ... so that he can grow into that position and by that gain the confidence he deserves," said Veal.

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