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Signal Mountain Town Manager Boyd Veal and grandson Lukas Russell, then 7, at the dedication of Signal Mountain Fire Station No. 2 on Oct. 20, 2018. / Photo contributed by Boyd Veal

Signal Mountain, Tennessee, Town Manager Boyd Veal is retiring after eight years in the job.

Veal, 58, had been the town's police chief for a decade before being named town manager and a police officer for many years before that.

He notified the town council Friday that his last day will be Dec. 3.

"It just feels like it's a good time," Veal said of his decision to retire.

He said he could have retired four years ago had he remained chief of police.

"But I chose to take this position, and I think it's been a productive period for the town. It's been an honor for me. It's time to move on to the next chapter."

He said he is not sure what he is going to do next, but he is planning to spend as much time as possible with his grandchildren while he figures that out.

Honna Rogers with the University of Tennessee Municipal Technical Advisory Service, which is assisting the town with the hiring process, knows the community and Veal well.

"While I was technically a supervisor to him at one point, he probably taught me more about leadership than most people have in my life," said Rogers, who was town manager from 2008-2013 and still lives on Signal Mountain, about Veal. She supervised him when he was the town's police chief. "He was a great chief, and he's done a good job as town manager, so I'm very appreciative to him."

She told the council at its Oct. 11 meeting that the advisory service can help as much or as little as the council wants, starting with evaluating the job description before advertising the position.

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Boyd Veal

She recommended that once the town council decides what it wants in a town manager, it advertise the job nationally with the international city management association. In her experience, most applicants likely will be from outside Tennessee.

Based on the town's size, Signal Mountain probably will receive around 30 applications, she said.

If the city decides to use what the advisory service calls an "assessment center" composed of city management professionals to evaluate applicants, as both Collegedale and Red Bank did recently, the hiring process should take about three months, she said. Without that approach, the process would take two to two-and-a-half months, she said.

Cities and towns typically cover the cost for out-of-town candidates to visit the town for interviews, and cities the advisory service has worked with have spent about $3,000-$4,000 to bring in a few candidates.

"It's not as much as one would think," Rogers said. "It just depends where they're flying from."

Interviews likely will take place in December, after the job has been advertised for four to six weeks, she said.

"As I told the council, I will do everything I can to make it a smooth and positive transition for the town," Veal said.

Veal's annual salary is $110,960. He did not receive a raise in this year's budget like other town employees. He told council members during the budgeting process that he was satisfied with his salary.

Contact Emily Crisman at ecrisman@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6508.

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