Schuettler named as interim landfill director

Published 4:49 pm Wednesday, July 12, 2023

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Star Correspondent

The Carter County Landfill Committee voted Tuesday to name Chris Schuettler as the interim landfill director.

Last week, Benny Lyons, who had served as landfill director for 15 years, submitted his resignation. Lyons said stress and other issues had led him to leave the department.

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Schuettler, who also serves as the county’s planning director, has experience with the landfill’s operations.

The committee unanimously passed a motion to name Schuettler as interim landfill director through the end of the current fiscal year on June 30, 2024. The motion included an increase in Schuettler’s current salary because he will serve two roles. The committee approved a $30,000 pay increase, which would be covered by the landfill.

The Carter County Planning Commission will have to approve the plan.

“I’ll help out for a little while,” Schuettler said.

Schuettler added that there are some things that can be improved to help the employees at the landfill. As interim director, Schuettler said he can also assist with the hiring of a new director.

“Pray for him,” said Schuettler, referring to Lyons.

County Mayor Patty Woodby said Lyons has been an asset to the community for 15 years.

“He deserves respect from the county,” said Woodby, who added that Lyons often worked non-stop helping the community, not just from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Lyons previously told the committee that stress related to the job had become overwhelming and required him to take medical leave in June. He submitted his resignation letter to the committee during a heated meeting on June 3.

Landfill Committee Chairman Gary Kemp said the county will need to post a job opening for the position, and also review the current director’s job duties and salary.

The Landfill Committee is responsible for the hiring of the director’s position, a role created by a Tennessee private act. The committee has the power to oversee “all aspects of the operation of the Carter County landfill.” That power includes the power to hire and fire the landfill director, the power to directly supervise the director, oversight of the landfill budget and oversight of all day-to-day operations.

The director is responsible for the hiring and firing of landfill employees, as well as managing the day-to-day operations.