No changes in county appointments, board leadership

James Carskadon
Staff Writer

With the new Oktibbeha Board of Supervisors in place, no changes were made in the county’s eight appointed positions, although the appointment process did come under scrutiny.
The board unanimously re-appointed County Administrator Emily Garrard, Road Manager Victor Collins, State Aid and County Engineer Clyde Pritchard, Fire Services Coordinator Kirk Rosenhan, OCEMA Director Shank Phelps, Justice Court Clerk Nora Goliday and Board Attorney Jack Brown. Those appointments are made annually.
The board considered changing the appointment process after an individual expressed interest in the county engineer position over the weekend. The board did not advertise that it was re-appointing the positions or provide a set deadline to apply.
“People submit and show interest in these positions all the time,” District 2 Supervisor Orlando Trainer said. “There’s not an official advertisement. You can hire, fire, do whatever you want. After the term changes, people naturally think there could be some changes because it’s a new board.”
Board members said they supported all those currently holding the positions they are in. Bricklee Miller, in her first meeting as District 4 Supervisor, said clearer application guidelines could prevent confusion in the future.
The board has previously advertised for appointed positions when they come open. For example, when former OCEMA/E-911 Director Jim Britt retired in 2015, the county advertised to fill the position, set an application deadline and interviewed three candidates in open session before appointing Shank Phelps.
“There should be a systematic way of doing it, and we don’t have anything systematic,” District 5 Supervisor Joe Williams said.
Although all appointments were renewed for 2016, the board did not make any formal changes to the appointment process on Monday.
There will also be no changes in the board’s current leadership as Trainer and District 1 Supervisor John Montgomery were voted president and vice president for 2016. Trainer was unanimously voted board president, while Montgomery was voted vice president by a 4-1 margin, with Williams supporting Miller for the vice president position.