Thursday, December 20, 2007
City fills lead positions from within
By SUE WATSON
Candidates appeared before the Holly Springs mayor and board of aldermen two weeks ago to be interviewed for supervisor of Building and Grounds and supervisor of the Street Department.
The positions left vacant by Landy Hurdle and Ricky Shoffner have been changed to supervisor with the city considering a single management position over both departments.
Robb Hurdle is moving from the street department to supervisor of Building and Grounds.
The position requires the supervisor manage staff in the department and oversee the upkeep of landscaping at Hill Crest Cemetery, on all rights-of-way, in the parks and at all buildings owned by the city except upkeep at Holly Springs Utility Department.
Jarius Leasure was promoted to supervisor of the street department. He will manage a staff of 10 and oversee the city garage, sanitation and street work.
In another personnel move, Levorn Richmond has been promoted to director of community development.
After the brief presentations of the candidates to the board, alderman Russell Johnson alleged that the interviews placed the candidates open to public scrutiny.
More detailed information on the candidates’ applications are heard in executive session, said alderman Tim Liddy.
Johnson said he has objected to the procedure of having candidates come before the board in open meetings for a long time.
“I’m just tinkering with it to see if the board is more comfortable with this route,” said mayor Andre’ DeBerry. “I just want to know where you want to go (with it).”
“I think we are there,” said alderman Nancy Hutchens.
Moving on to public works, Don Hollingsworth asked the board to adopt resolutions for the south Holly Springs traffic plan and TIF (tax increment financing) plan. He said the expansion of the TIF boundaries would bring in more revenue to pay for a shortfall in dollars required to widen J.M. Ash Drive, widen Craft Street to five lanes in the business strip and to relocate Mary Rahe Drive. The plan projects revenue of about $800,000 in taxes over five years to help pay for the work, he said. The Mississippi Development Authority has agreed to allocate $3 million for infrastructure work in the expanding business district.
Hollingsworth advised the board to approve a modification of the Holly Springs/Benton County water extension project in order to bring the project cost in line with available funds - $1.4 million.
The cost of the project as planned in 2000 is off budget estimate by about $400,000, he said.
In sanitation matters, alderman Garrie Colhoun asked for help with junk and trash on Elder Street, saying some of his constituents had asked about large volumes of leaves and junk in the area.
DeBerry said the city is asking residents who have household discards to contact ASCO Sanitation to arrange for junk to be picked up at the cost of the householder.
“We are in a grey area now,” he said regarding sanitation.
The city does not have the equipment, dumping privileges or manpower to provide service any longer, he said.
Residents should pile leaves and limbs near the curb just in advance of regular service on the street, not too far in advance, DeBerry said. Leaves are not to be mixed with limbs, he said, because the leaf vacuum does not gather up limbs and sticks.
In recreation matters, park director Ken McMullen presented a fee structure for the use of the multi-purpose building. Aldermen requested to view the design proposed for a new press box at the football field at Coopwood Park.
John Collins, utility manager, presented four candidates applying for positions in the gas and waste water treatment department.
He presented a TVA fuel cost adjustment which will decrease the rates HSUD customers pay per kilowatt hour in the next quarter (beginning January 1) for fuel costs.
TVA instituted the quarterly fuel cost adjustment (charges that go either up or down) due to shortfalls of rain in the valley which has caused TVA to have to generate additional power with energy sources other than water power.
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