Manchester appointed Jewell Noblitt and Richard Dix to the PBA following a statement from county attorney Bob Huskey which was issued in September 2018. Huskey believed PBA bylaws needed to be changed to adhere to state laws, thus giving Manchester an extra seat on the board. However, his opinion was not correct.
The County Technical Assistance Service (CTAS) issues a statement that stated Manchester was not legally obligated to have representation on the PBA. Municipal Technical Assistance Service (MTAS) agreed with the CTAS opinion. The PBA replaced all seats that were appointed by Manchester City after Huskey’s opinion and were later nullified by CTAS and MTAS.
Noblitt was replaced by Zach Lowry and Dix by Claude Morse.
“I’m disappointed that Mr. Dix is no longer with us. More than that, I am disappointed in the way it was handled,” said Chairman Stan Teal. He added he meant no disrespect to Morse with this statement.
“Mr. Dix was our longest serving member,” Teal continued. “Mr. Dix had experience and knowledge of the operations that really can’t be replaced…but I will say that I’m very proud of this board and the progress that we’ve made in the operations of this conference center over the challenging times that we’ve been through. I’ve said many times that we’re not where we want to be, but we’re certainly closer than where we were. We’re going in the right direction.”
He later added, “Mr. Dix has been instrumental in helping us get to this point. Mr. Dix is in this building at least twice a week and spends hours in this building going over operations and financing and the handling of things, handling financing, and again, I say, he has been instrumental in helping us get to this point.”
“That being said, if he needed to be replaced, he needed to be replaced,” Teal said.
Teal explained that when he was appointed on this board by the Coffee County and Tullahoma Caucus, he knew some members didn’t want him on the board, but they respected him enough to have a conversation with him. To Teal’s knowledge, no one reached out to Dix to have a conversation, which disappointed Teal.
“After someone has served for as long as he has, I would have hoped there would be a little more respect shown to him and I regret that. He’s deserving of better,” Teal concluded.
The PBA is planning on honoring Dix for his service. Details of this have yet to be disclosed.
The PBA consists of Teal, Patricia Pinegar, David Pennington, David Pate, Greg Sandlin, Lowry and Morse.