At the end of a very long agenda Tuesday morning, the Jackson County Commissioners heard from Lennetta Greene about the commissioner’s decision on the hiring of a county administrator. The field was narrowed to five for the commissioners to interview with Earnie Padgett and Interim Administrator Pam Pichard being the only two candidates to show for their interview. The commissioners were asked to rank their choices, with number one going to their stronger candidate and number two for their second choice. Padgett received a 3-2 margin from the commissioners.
Commissioner Willie Spires made a motion to offer Padgett the job at a salary of $110,000. This would have his salary at $2,013 higher than county engineer Larry Alvarez whose salary is $107,987. The motion died for lack of a second.
In a special meeting already scheduled for 1 p.m. today, Padgett’s salary was again discussed and the commissioners voted to offer Padgett the job for $107,000 which he accepted. He had turned down their first offer of $95,000. The motion passed 4-1 with Commission Willie Spires voting against. Spires voiced his concern over paying less to a supervisor than someone he was supervising was making.
Padgett was contacted by phone and was pleased to be chosen, “I feel good about it. I am satisfied with the way it came out. There’s a lot of work to be done, and I think with all of us working together it will be good. My job and staff’s job is to make sure that you stay informed and that options are laid out for you that you have to consider. I’ll make sure to the best of my ability that you don’t get surprised. I look forward to working with the county again, it’s my home county. I think in the next few years we can do some things that are very progressive. Padgett said he would not be asking for a severance package.”
Padgett will begin his job as county administrator on February 27. The commissions opted not to vote on a request by Padgett to make the decision on the future status of Pam Pichard.