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Sullivan County Animal Shelter Board picks new manager

Sullivan County Animal Shelter Board picks new manager

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BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. — A Bristol Tennessee Police Department officer could be the new manager of the Sullivan County Animal Shelter in Blountville.

Animal Shelter Board of Sullivan County President Linda Brittenham said the board’s Executive Committee selected Terry Johnson, and the full board won’t vote on the hiring. She announced the committee’s selection at a board meeting earlier this week.

Johnson, who is the Police Department’s evidence custodian, was one of three finalists picked by the committee out of 247 applicants, according to Brittenham. She said she attempted to contact Johnson to offer him the job but wasn’t able to. He also couldn’t be reached by the Bristol Herald Courier for comment.

The board is working through a “transition plan,” with county officials to take over shelter operations, Brittenham said. It isn’t known when the board will take over. The county has been in charge of shelter operations since Jan. 1, 2018.

The county is still providing funding for the shelter and the board has been working to raise money for operations. County Mayor Richard Venable previously said the county will continue to provide funding after the transition until the board is able to cover the budget on its own.

“We’re a board but we haven’t taken over the shelter,” Brittenham said. “We’re just trying to get a manager up there to get organization and just some good, strong leadership and great background to work with all the components of the shelter.”

She added that Johnson stood out among the finalists because of his “experience within the community” and his leadership, organizational and recordkeeping skills. When asked if he has any experience or training in taking care of animals or in animal control, Brittenham said “somewhat.”

“We’re looking for a unified effort here,” she said. “I think we have some great resources and the more positive we can look at things the more successful we can be rather than looking at negative. We’re trying to come up with solutions.”

Johnson’s compensation and benefits will be determined through the Accounts and Budgets Department. A figure hasn’t been determined yet because the 2019-20 fiscal year budget approval process is underway, but Brittenham estimated he’ll be paid $40,000-$45,000.

The board will meet again on June 26 at 6 p.m. at the Sullivan County Courthouse in Blountville.

lspell@bristolnews.com | 276-645-2511 | Twitter: @BHC_Lurah | Facebook.com/lurah.lowery

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