The City of Murfreesboro will hire Baker Tilly to recruit candidates to replace retiring City Recorder/City Treasurer Melissa B. Wright.

After much discussion, the city council decided unanimously to hire the firm. Other candidates were Strategic Government Resource and Colin Baenziger & Associates.

The three candidates were closely aligned in price and time frame, but at least two of the council members said they were not impressed with the work Strategic Government Resources did during the previous two times they worked for the city.

“I wasn’t all that thrilled with the process last time,” council member Rick LaLance said, adding that he was not happy with the candidates the company brought to the city.

“Half of them were from cities with 13,000 (people) or something like that,” he said. “It didn’t seem to me that the process of getting out there and finding what I thought we were looking for was handled very well, frankly. I just didn’t feel like they brought the candidates.

The cost is expected to be around $30,000 and the search should take approximately three months.

Internal candidates, as well as those from across the country would apply through the recruitment company to be considered.

Wright said her retirement date was set so the new employee can help in the budget process, the end of the year wrap-up and start the new fiscal year in July.

Murfreesboro Human Resources Director Pam Russell outlined the three options to the council.

The council passed a resolution that would allow for a five-person Community Investment Study Group that would elicit input and advice from members of the community regarding the purpose, handling, disposition, and structure of the mechanisms for management of the revenue sources resulting from the sale of the Murfreesboro Electric Department’s assets and operations to Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation.

LaLance was named the council representative for the board.

The sale was for $245 million, with $43 million paid at closing and annual installments of $17,290,134 paid over a 15-year period. Any decision on what to do with the funds would have to be approved by the council.

The council voted unanimously to approve changes to the city’s sign ordinance, including signs which people and companies place in rights-of-way throughout the city.

The city picks up a variety of signs which are in violation of the city code. There is a sign buy-back clause in the ordinance that would allow citizens and companies to buy their signs back from the city.

The ordinance also reduced the maximum size of temporary signs. The measure was approved unanimously.

The council proclaimed that Feb. 25 was Jason Ayers Day. Ayers and his team worked during the recent ice and snowstorm to make sure people who needed to get to work would get there. They also helped people get unstuck from driveways or ditches.

The next city council meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 4. There is a public hearing scheduled for Thursday, March 25 about a townhome development at the corner of South Bilbro Avenue and East State Street.