TML 2019 MorristownThis past week, members of City Council and staff attended the annual Tennessee Municipal League (TML)  conference in Memphis. The Tennessee Municipal League is a cooperative organization established by the cities and towns of the state for mutual assistance and improvements. The League’s primary function is to advocate on behalf of city governments. Morristown has participated with TML over the years to advance the City’s efficiency and operations. While attending this conference, the City of Morristown was presented the “Excellence in Governance” award by TML, a prestigious award recognizing Morristown’s efforts to improve city services, quality of life, and government in general. On receiving the award, Mayor Chesney says, “This award is recognition by other cities in Tennessee of the successes Morristown is experiencing with infrastructure development, job growth, and quality of life improvements.  It’s a moment of pride to say congratulations to our administrative leaders, department heads, and city employees for Morristown earning this award.  Well done.”
The City of Morristown has made concentrated effort and partnership between elected officials and city administration to accomplish some lofty goals. Increasing the city’s fund balance, creating new programs to move city development forward at a more efficient pace, implementing a new stormwater fund and building program, and addressing both downtown and industrial development are just some of the accomplishments.
Elected leaders such as Mayor Chesney, City Council and City administrative employees have been working together tirelessly in the past several years to ensure Morristown offers high-quality services and service delivery while also laying foundations for city growth and improvement. Staff recruitment and development opportunities have helped ensure that the best people are at work at Morristown City Center. City Council members Tommy Pedigo states, “I consider it privilege to serve with a group of people as passionate about the future of our community as the leadership of Morristown. With the help of Hamblen county commission, the Chamber of Commerce, the industrial development board, as well as other clubs and organizations, our community is the envy of the state.  This honor is just proof of our efforts.”
The City’s fund balance has been brought from less than $50,000 nearly a decade ago to more than $12 million today. A new stormwater fund was created to address stormwater issues throughout the city. Morristown reorganized departments and programs to be more efficient and to better meet the needs of both citizens and employees. The city’s sewer operations were moved from the City’s jurisdiction to the utility board to put water and sewer operations under the same roof and reduce expenditures created through previous duplication.  The City also created a new “shepherding program” within its planning department that assigns planning staff to serve as case managers on projects from beginning to end. In turn, city projects and development have moved forward at a quicker pace.
The City began a new building program to add a fire station, public works facility, and community center.  In a revitalization effort, the City purchased the old Morristown College site, which is being turned into a 50 acre park, the first major park addition to the city in years. A farmer’s market pavilion and green space were developed and the City coordinated an effort to put a ceiling with a sound system under the overhead sidewalks downtown. Morristown also worked with the Industrial Development Board to secure the expansions of current manufacturing industries as well as the addition of a new industry to the community.
In recent years, Morristown has seen a huge boost in the economy and is poised for unprecedented growth. The City of Morristown is matching that growth by improving its services and infrastructure to better support the people of Morristown. TML has recognized those efforts and the City of Morristown is proud to continue in these efforts for many years to come.