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Salary increase approved for Senior Center director

The Johnson County Budget Committee debates agenda items during its Thursday, November 21 meeting. The members decided to approve both of the senior center requests and send offers to the County Commission
meeting later that evening. Photo by Meg Dickens.

By Meg Dickens

The Johnson County Senior Center is undoubtedly a staple in the community that has grown massively since Director Kathy Motsinger took over in 2017; numbers jumped from approximately 342 to 1,350 in this short amount of time.
Around 1,000 of these are active members. The Budget Committee and County Commissioners approved requests from the Johnson County Senior Center at their Thursday, November 21 meeting. These requests include adding a part-time administrative assistant and the center advisory board’s plea for a salary increase for Director Kathy Motsinger.
Those who partner with the senior center fully support these requests. Dr. John Payne presented packets to the county commissioners with information on the center’s programs along with letters from AAAD (Area Agency on Aging and Disability) Director Kathy Whitaker, AAAD Projects Specialist Teresa Sutphin, and Meals on Wheels Director of Nutrition Services Stephanie Walker endorsing the center and Motsinger’s abilities.
“Kathy has provided so many services and activities for seniors that are not being done in any other county in Northeast Tennessee,” Payne quoted Walker.
According to Mayor Mike Taylor, the senior center has the largest turnout per capita of any of the centers in surrounding counties. However, the neighboring areas have workers on hand. Dr. Payne explained that the center’s advisory board had to deny several proposed programs because it was unreasonable to pile even more work on Motsinger. She already works long hours after everyone else heads home for the night. Motsinger leads an average of four events per day at the center as well as planning and arranging trips ranging from local day trips to multi-week, cross-country trips.
“She is the busiest and does well at multitasking. I can’t do it,” Payne told the Budget Committee. “I can’t deal with it that way, but she handles more things at one time
than any person I’ve ever seen. And she has a smile doing it.”
Adding more help would make more activities possible, says Payne. The administrative assistant job did exist at the Johnson County Senior Center before Motsinger’s arrival. The two prior directors had some form of assistant or secretary. The newly approved employee will do mostly clerical
work for twenty hours a
week. Anyone interested in this position should contact Kathy Motsinger at (423) 727-8883 or [email protected]