Starkville Daily News - - FO­RUM -

er said. “So this is a tough de­ci­sion we're about to make tonight.”

Carver's mo­tion to ap­point Smith was turned down with a vote of 3-4. Carver, Ward 2 Al­der­man San­dra Sistrunk and Miller voted for Smith, while Ward 3 Al­der­man David Lit­tle, Walker, Ward 6 Al­der­man and Vice Mayor Roy A.' Perkins and Ward 7 Al­der­man Henry Vaughn voted against pass­ing the mo­tion.

Af­ter his first mo­tion failed, Carver made the same mo­tion, but to ap­point Gerry Lo­gan, the in­terim parks di­rec­tor, to the role in a per­ma­nent ca­pac­ity with a yearly salary of $70,000, ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately with a six-month pro­ba­tion­ary pe­riod. Miller, once again, sec­onded Carver's mo­tion.

When Mayor Lynn Spruill opened the mo­tion for dis­cus­sion, Sistrunk voiced her opin­ion that Lo­gan's ex­pe­ri­ence war­ranted a lower salary.

“I can ab­so­lutely be sup­port­ive of Mr. Lo­gan as our parks di­rec­tor,” Sistrunk said, “I think that that salary does not nec­es­sar­ily re­flect his cur­rent ex­pe­ri­ence or where we need that po­si­tion to be.”

Lit­tle agreed with Sistrunk that the $70,000 salary was too high.

“I am sup­port­ive of Mr. Gerry Lo­gan for this po­si­tion,” Lit­tle said. “How­ever I am not sup­port­ive of the $70,000 salary.”

Lit­tle asked to amend the salary to $62,500. Carver sup­ported Lit­tle's mo­tion. How­ever, Perkins did not agree with low­er­ing the salary on the ba­sis of fair­ness.

“We want to be fair, eq­ui­table, and just. We want him to take this depart­ment to the top of Mt. Ever­est,” Perkins said. “It is wrong to pay this per­son $62,000.”

The city's salary range for the parks di­rec­tor po­si­tion is $61,122 to $73,951. Af­ter Sistrunk con­firmed the ad­ver­tise­ment for the po­si­tion re­quired at least 5 years of ex­pe­ri­ence, and Lo­gan has over 8 years of ex­pe­ri­ence, she amended the low­ered salary.

“It sounds like $62,500 was too low,” Sistrunk said. “So if I may, may I make a friendly amend­ment to change that salary to $66,000, which is in the mid-range.”

Vaughn sec­onded $66,000 salary.

“First les­son in be­ing a pub­lic ser­vant is not to take any­thing per­sonal,” Carver said to Lo­gan, who was present dur­ing the board's dis­cus­sion.

The board then voted 6-1 to ap­point Lo­gan as the Starkville parks di­rec­tor with the amended salary of $66,000 and a six month pro­ba­tion­ary pe­riod. Lit­tle was the sole dis­sent­ing vote.

“Con­grat­u­la­tions, Mr. the Lo­gan,” Spruill said, as the room filled with ap­plause for Lo­gan. Over­come by emo­tion, Lo­gan tem­po­rar­ily left the meet­ing.

Lo­gan is ex­cited to con­tinue for­ward with Starkville's Parks and Recre­ation Depart­ment.

“This is a dream job for me,” Lo­gan said. “The goal was al­ways to get to the top, and I'm thank­ful that I'm there now, and I'm thank­ful that they had the con­fi­dence in me to ap­point me here. I'm not go­ing to let them down.”

“He's been very suc­cess­ful do­ing things that we have not had hap­pen be­fore,” Spruill said. “I'm very ex­cited that he will bring the same breath of fresh air that he has brought to us in that in­terim role, with an even stronger pres­ence be­cause now he is go­ing to be the man.”

De­spite the salary dis­cus­sion, Sistrunk still thinks Lo­gan is qual­i­fied for the job.

“We were not go­ing to make a bad hire no mat­ter what we did,” Sistrunk said. “Lo­gan doesn't have as much ex­pe­ri­ence as the other can­di­dates, but he has a world of po­ten­tial. And we're ex­pect­ing him to live into that po­ten­tial.”

“I'm glad we got through it, and I'm glad that I am their pick,” Lo­gan said. “It's cer­tainly an in­ter­est­ing process to go through, but ev­ery­thing in city gov­ern­ment usu­ally is. The end re­sult is, I'm very happy.”

Lifer, SDN) (Photo by Faith

From left: Ward 7 Al­der­man Henry N. Vaughn, Vice Mayor and Ward 6 Al­der­man Roy A'. Perkins and Ward 5 Al­der­man Pa­trick Miller dur­ing Tues­day night's Board of Al­der­men meet­ing.

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