The Manchester board of Mayor and Aldermen met in regular session on Tuesday night at city hall.
The board and those in attendance heard a reading of a letter from State of Tennessee Commission on Firefighting commending Chief George DeShields. A letter from the Manchester Lions Club also thanked the DeShields and Police Chief Mark Yother for their help with the recent 56th annual Lions Club horse show at the Coffee County Fairgrounds.
Over 200 people attended the meeting, many to show support for DeShields and Yother. Rumors ran rampant for several days that the DeShields and Yother’s jobs could be on the line.
Carisa Smith the fiancé of Chief DeShields gave a passionate speech in favor of her future husband.
Others talked highly of the fire chief including Charles Chambers with the state fire marshal’s office as he spoke about the progressive style DeShields has with his staff and how impressed his is with the department.
Two local teachers spoke very favorably on Chief DeShields behalf. They said the chief and other firemen train teachers and students about emergency situations and were very happy it’s being done.
14 year-old Shelby Allen spoke about Deshields tutoring her and all the time he spends helping others.
One local single Mom told the board about DeShields being a mentor to her young son.
Loud applauses were heard after each citizen made their speeches to the board.
As the meeting moved along the board approved the 2nd reading of an ordinance adopting a continuing annual operating budget of Manchester, TN for fiscal year 2015. Also they approved the 2nd reading of an ordinance authorizing the City of Manchester to enter into a mutual aid agreement with the Secretary of the Air Force for fire protection. All other items on the agenda were approved 6-0 including the “Safe Sidewalks to School” project on Oakdale St.
Surprisingly the board did not take up any issues with the two chiefs. Alderman Ryan French commended the work of DeShields, Yother and their staffs for the outstanding work they do.
When ask by the public to give their thoughts on the controversy Alderman Tim Pauley said that nothing was on the agenda. Alderman Donny Parsley told those in attendance that his attorney told him not to speak on the issue when ask by an audience member to give his thoughts.
Chief DeShields told WMSR News after the meeting that if there are issues with the job he is doing he wants to correct whatever problems there might be. He said all he needs is feedback.
WMSR will continue to report on any new developments.