Supes select Roberson as Board Attorney

Newly appointed Board Attorney Rob Roberson takes notes during the resumed Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors meeting Monday night. (Photo by Logan Kirkland, SDN)
Staff Writer

The Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors appointed a local legislator as its new board attorney position at its meeting Monday morning.

Supervisors unanimously appointed state Rep. Rob Roberson, R-Starkville, after a brief executive session after the conclusion of all nine interviews. The motion was made by District 4 Supervisor Bricklee Miller.

Those who applied for the board attorney position were Haley M. Brown, Marty Haug, Jay Hurdle, Bennie Jones Jr., Benjamin D. Lang, Chad Montgomery, Johnny Moore, Lydia Quarles and Rob Roberson.

President of the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors Orlando Trainer said the appointment for the position was a tough call for the board, because each candidate were more than qualified for the position.

"What I think the board looked at, is what those individuals could bring to the table outside and over and above what we have already had in the past," Trainer said.

During executive session, Trainer said the board discussed their top three candidates for the position, and once they saw each had Roberson as the candidate, it was time for them to make the decision.

"He emerged as a top scorer and the board had no fallout or miscommunication about it and we just decided it was time for us to make a move," Trainer said. "He has the mentality that I think he is willing to work extremely hard for Oktibbeha County and also willing to take on some things that may come about that may not be in the job description."

Miller, who was concerned about ethics and conflicts of interest, said she was pleased with how each candidate she had concerns about cleared the air about their intentions.

"I think transparency is important and the attitude everybody had came in with was yes, this is good let's talk about this upfront," Miller said.

Miller said what set Roberson apart from the other candidates was the connections he has as far as knowing what's happening at the state level and being able to guide the board in some areas.

"This is actually just going to strengthen his position as a representative for us and it's going to strengthen our position as well," Miller said. "I think that was the one thing that really made him stand out."

During Roberson's interview, he emphasized how his role as a legislator would prove to be beneficial for the county and for the board since he would be able to sit in the room and listen to the issues being discussed.

"Y'all this is a dream job for me," Roberson said. "From my perspective, it works so congruently with what I'm trying to achieve and with what y'all are trying to achieve."

Roberson said after being notified, he was grateful to hear he had received the job because every candidate who applied could have done the job well.

"I am just honored that they would pick me," Roberson said.

He said in the end, it looks like the board was looking for someone who had experience at both the local and state level.

With this new position, Roberson said it will allow him to be a better legislator because it will connect him better with the county. He said he will be able to follow bonding authority, federal dollars and grant money for the county.

"We're going to be able to take advantage of those situations and use it to the fullest extent that we can get for our community and taxpayers in this county," Roberson said. "From my perspective, it really opens a lot of doors."

Roberson's appointment goes into effect immediately. The position for Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors attorney is a one year appointed position and pays the same as the supervisor position.