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Walker: Council Needs to Move On With Business

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Walker: Council Needs to Move On With Business

Cookeville City Council Member Eric Walker said he hopes the council can move forward with other business after ceasing the investigation of Ricky Shelton’s hiring at CRMC.

“We’ve cleared that and moved on,” Walker said. “I think that the attorney’s letter has shown that the council has no further role in this at all at this time. We need to move on with business, and I hope that’s what the council seeks to do.”

Walker said himself and most other council members are optimistic moving forward. Walker said anything beyond the city council’s investigation would fall under the operations of the hospital.

“There’s a lot of decisions that have to be made, and we got budget coming up,” Walker said. “That’s always a time to plan the next year to plan the next years of improvements. We got 10th Street happening. The new grocery store is coming in. They’re working hard to improve 10th Street, and there are just a lot of questions about planning and setting our city up for the growth that it is seeing to try to prepare for the future.”

Walker said while the attorney’s letter on the hiring of Shelton did close that case, it also added new questions about the operational relationship between CRMC and the council. Walker said things such as the budgeting process will create more questions on the city’s role.

“I certainly have more questions that were araised in the attorney’s letter about the role of financial duties of the council,” Walker said. “You start digging into documents, and you read how the budget needs to be presented to the council and whether that is just a presentation or approval. In the past, we have always put the hospital budget and voted on passing that budget. You start to think if we received that budget? Did we actually approve that budget. I think those are some questions that may arise.”

Walker said for the future, making sure there is clarity in operations and the council does not overstep responsibilities is important.


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