Town to hire new town administrator

By Graham Sweeney
The town was expected to name Molly Mehner to the position of Collierville Town Administrator on Wednesday afternoon during a special called meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.
Mehner, the deputy city manager for Cape Girardeau, Mo., will replace longtime town administrator James Lewellen, 65, who has held the position for 27 years.
Collierville received around 40 applications for the position before trimming down the list to two candidates.
Mehner has worked for Cape Girardeau for seven years.
She will be replacing an administrator who has worked 21 years beyond the average time that administrators spend with one municipality, according to the University of Tennessee’s Institute of Public Service.
Among his accomplishments, Lewellen was at the center of the town’s multi-year effort to start a school system in Collierville. He played a key role in organizing a team of consultants and legal counsel, assisting state leaders with the coordination of legislative efforts and leading Town Hall meetings.
Collierville Schools was formed in 2013, and in August 2014, the newly formed Collierville Municipal School System held its first classes.
Just a year later, the town made plans to build a new 450,000 square foot high school with a price tag of $95 million, which opened four years ago.
According to the Southeast Missourian, Mehner called the move “a great opportunity that I just can’t pass up.”
Mehner was also one of four candidates interviewed by the Kettering City Council (Ohio) in a search to succeed the city manager, who is stepping down after 16 years.
Mehner noted that she is proud of many things during her tenure in Cape Girardeau.
Mehner named the recent City Hall project, which was completed last year, as one of the accomplishments “near and dear” to her heart. The $12.5 million undertaking merged the Common Pleas Courthouse and adjacent Annex with a new structure, creating office space for numerous city employees while preserving historic buildings, according to the Southeast Missourian.

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