The Jackson County Commissioners have completed the interview process and have cast their rankings for their choice for an administrator to replace Ernie Padgett who turned in his resignation approximately two months ago.
Human Resource Director Lennetta Greene presented the board with the rankings at the regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, held at Sneads High School. The highest ranking went to Lyndon L. Bonner of Ocala who scored 40 points. Commissioner Willie Spires scored Bonner a 10 (the highest ranking allowed), with Clint Pate and Jim Peacock giving him an eight. Eric Hill and Chuck Lockey both rated Bonner a seven.
The next highest ranking went to Marianna resident Rick Pettis with a 38, given a 10 by Lockey, and an eight by Spires and Hill. Pate rated Pettis a seven with Peacock giving him a five.
Commissioners Spires made the motion to offer the job to Mr. Bonner based on the rankings, with a second by Commissioner Pate. The motion carried 5-0.
Jim Peacock made a motion to offer Bonner the job with a salary of $80,000, the bottom of the scale for the salary offered where the range was $80,000 to $120,000 with the understanding that if he comes on board and does a good job, they revisit it in a year, that is typically what we do with all our employees. Clint Pate seconded the motion with the motion carrying on a 3-2 vote. Commissioners Chuck Lockey and Willie Spires voted against.
Spires addressed the board, “Let me see if I am getting this correctly here. The most we are going to offer a seasoned, experienced administrator is $80,000 for a year.” Peacock replied, “That is correct Dr. Spires.”
Spires said, “With the realistic anticipation that he is going to accept that. I don’t think that is being reasonable. That is ridiculous. It wreaks of sabotaging the point system in my opinion. It wreaks, lets offer this individual something that he will not accept and he’ll move on. The goal of this commission was to try to get a seasoned employee who can help this county. We should not be playing games with the taxpayers’ dollars.”
Peacock responded, “I don’t consider myself playing games when we have Foreman and Chief Birge sitting out there and they have their employees begging for a raise. We can take some of this money and give them a raise. We don’t know if he will take the $80,000 and I am not playing a game at all but by the same token I don’t think he needs to be overpaid.”
The commission will meet with Bonner in an open meeting on February 19 for discussions on salary. An alternative was not discussed if Bonner declined to accept the position. The next candidate in the rankings would be Rick Pettis with a 38.