Top vacancies in city government might be filled

 

The city of Augusta is poised to fill two long-vacant department head positions.

City Administrator Fred Russell said staff conducted telephone interviews of four candidates for human resources director Thursday and has a fifth interview scheduled next week.

The position has been vacant since the August 2011 resignation of Rod Powell, and the city recently put its half-dozen remaining human resources personnel on notice that they’ll have to reapply for their jobs under the new director, who will oversee a reconfigured HR department.

The candidates include two men and three women from Atlanta, Macon, Columbia and Clemson, S.C., and New York, Russell said, declining to name the applicants until he recommends a slate of finalists next week to invite to Augusta for interviews with commissioners.

City leaders interviewed two candidates for HR director in November, then had to restart the search after top pick, former Tampa, Fla., International Airport HR Director George Williams, accepted another position in Florida local government.

Russell said the city also is finalizing salary negotiations with a candidate for Recreation, Parks and Facilities director and hopes to recommend that person Tuesday.

Augusta commissioners and staff conducted in-person interviews with four finalists – interim rec director Ron Houck; Durham, N.C., assistant rec director Parvin Neloms; New Haven, Conn., rec director Robert Levine and Columbia, Tenn., rec director Brian Borden – over the last two weeks to replace longtime Director Tom Beck, whom the commission voted to fire last April.

Under Augusta’s system of government, city department heads are recommended for hire by the administrator but report directly to the commission.

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