In this Issue​​

Kudos to the City of Dandridge

Bill Hammon Elected ICMA Southeast Regional Vice President

Before You Own and Operate a Drone 

USERRA and Changes to Tennessee State Law

Fun Facts:

Q: What is the Tennessee State Fish?

A: Largemouth Bass





Message from the President
Please join us in congratulating the City of Dandridge. The county seat of Jefferson County in the eastern part of the state, Dandridge (population 2,721 according to the 2010 census) is the second oldest city in Tennessee, behind Jonesborough. With very little cost involved, the city was able to transform an old bread truck into a fully stocked incident response vehicle. Details and pictures are included in this   e-newsletter. 
We would also like to congratulate Bill Hammon on his election as southeast regional vice president of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). Bill is one of 1,200-plus local government management professionals credentialed through the ICMA Voluntary Credentialing Program, and he has more than 35 years of professional experience as a local government executive. Bill has also made significant contributions to a number of other organizations, including the Tennessee City Management Association board of directors, the Tennessee Municipal League board of directors, and the Blount County Sister Organization board of directors.
We know there are great things happening in your organization and we would love to hear about them. Allow us to showcase the good happenings in your local government by emailing your story to

 Best Regards,


Kudos to the City of Dandridge

The City of Dandridge now has an incident response vehicle that is prepared to respond to all types of emergency situations. The city acquired an old bread delivery truck, which was then retrofitted and equipped with cones, signage, first-aid equipment, and lighting and communication systems. Developed  for less than $3,000, the vehicle has been used for automobile accidents and water line breaks, and was even used in the October 2013 church bus crash that killed 13 people and injured several others.




Bill Hammon, Jr., Alcoa’s assistant city manager, has been elected southeast regional vice president of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). Bill will be installed Sept. 17 during ICMA’s 100th Annual Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. He will represent ICMA to state associations of local government management and maintain relationships with other affiliated organizations.

Before You Own and Operate a Drone
Advancing technology is making unmanned aircrafts, or drones, a hot topic. While law enforcement contend that drones assist greatly with crime scene photography and missing person searches, citizens worry about the potential for misuse.
Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 39 was recently amended to include additional drone offenses. Below are some authorized uses that relate to municipalities:
(7) For law enforcement purposes, as permitted by the Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act;

(8) If the image is captured by state or local law enforcement authorities, or a person who is under contract with or otherwise acting under the direction or on behalf of state authorities, for the purpose of:

(A) Surveying the scene of a catastrophe or other damage to determine whether a state of emergency should be declared;

(B) Preserving public safety, protecting property, or surveying damage or contamination during a lawfully declared state of emergency; or

(C) Conducting routine air quality sampling and monitoring, as provided by state or local law.

An image captured by a state or local government agency, or by a person who is under contract with or otherwise acting under the direction or on behalf of such agency, must be handled in accordance with the Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act and may not be used for any purpose other than the lawful purpose for which the image was captured as permitted by the above provisions.

Please visit the Tennessee General Assembly page for the complete bill summary.
It is highly recommended that you have a written policy noting what kind of information can be collected, who can collect it, how the information can be used, and how long it can be kept, along with an auditing process to make sure the policies are followed.
Please call Public Entity Partners’s Legal Hotline for review of your completed policy at (800) 288-0829.

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) prohibits employment discrimination against a person on the basis of past military service, current military obligations or intent to serve. An employer must not deny initial employment, reemployment, retention in employment, promotion or any benefit of employment to a person on the basis of a past, present or future service obligation. In addition, an employer must not retaliate against a person because of an action taken to enforce or exercise any USERRA right or for assisting in an USERRA investigation. (Title 38, United States Code, at chapter 43).
Recently amended T.C.A. § 29-20-208, relates to the removal of governmental immunity under certain circumstances. The change in this statute is effective with USERRA claims that accrue on or after July 1, 2014.
Title 29, Section 20 now includes Part 208 that reads:
29-20-208. Governmental immunity waived for claims against any governmental entity under Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA).

Immunity from suit of any governmental entity, or any agency, authority, board, branch, commission, division, entity, subdivision or department of state government, or any autonomous state agency, authority, board, commission, council, department, office or institution of higher education is removed for the purpose of claims against and relief from a governmental entity under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA), 38 U.S.C. §§ 4301-4334.
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