Public works job description discussed

By Kristen Tribe | Published Wednesday, September 19, 2018

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The county has already received applications for the public works director position, but the job is not yet posted.

Last week commissioners authorized County Judge J.D. Clark and staff to write a job description and bring it to the Oct. 8 commissioners meeting. The position will be considered “open” at that time and will remain open for 30 days.

The job has been vacant since Aug. 27 when Keith Stone was fired from the position for nepotism.

At that time commissioners also agreed to turn over management of the county’s flood control lakes and dams to Director of 911 Addressing Wacy Beck. The task previously fell under the public works director position. As of last week, that change had not yet occurred. Clark said Beck has been working to determine how to best set that up.

“I think that needs to happen right away,” said Precinct 2 Commissioner Kevin Burns. “We’ve already approved it in the budget, so I think that needs to take place.”

Public works employee Jake Lawrence spoke up and said he had information that might help them make the decision.

“Since April of this year, myself and one other employee have been the ones primarily on the lakes when we can be,” he said. “We had 23 out of 81 days of work that we were available to do anything flood structure related. Many of these days were spent repairing equipment, and not actually on the structure. This is not for dereliction of duty or neglect, but because at this point we didn’t have the manpower to hit public works, as well as maintain the structures at the same time.”

Lawrence said he thinks the county needs to re-open to either public works or lakes and dams “two positions that were lost in the hiring freeze.”

“I would advise that, if I have any say at all,” he said. “I appreciate your time.”

Clark said Lawrence and public works foreman Ross Jones had both been helpful in sharing information to help best determine how to make the split work.

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