Controversy in Mitchell County Over Moving Allowance

Approval of items on a consent agenda has led Mitchell County commissioners into a controversy. The controversy is over $12,000 that was part of an agreement for Director of Mitchell County Social Services Sara Ross. Ross, who lives in Hendersonville, took over as head of the Department of Social Services in January. As part of her compensation when she was hired she was allowed $12,000 in moving expenses and expected to relocate to Mitchell County by June 30, 2019. At the October county commissioners meeting Jeff Harding made a motion to move a discussion about Ross’ relocation off the consent agenda, to allow for further discussion. Vern Grindstaff agreed with Harding but Danny Burleson and Jacob Willis disagreed. Steve Pitman was the deciding vote and he decided it was ok to leave the item on the consent agenda. The agenda was approved with Harding being the only dissenter. They approved Ross keeping the $12,000 and changed it from a moving expense to a performance based bonus.

Several people showed up at Monday night, November 4th’s Department of Social Services meeting to voice their concern over the breach of contract by Ross. According to county attorney Lloyd Hise, Ross has implied that she really doesn’t want to move. Commissioners praised Ross during the meeting for the job she has done.