Originally created 07/12/97

Adams talks with commissioners about public works job



One of two finalists for the vacant public works director position interviewed with commissioners Friday as another candidate announced he will not seek the position.

Jonathan Adams, who has spent the last 23 years in the military, told commissioners he wanted to leave the his Pentagon position because he wanted to live in a smaller city and be closer to his wife's family in Conway, S.C.

"I want to be out of the Army before my son goes to high school," said Mr. Adams, who has two sons, ages 9 and 13.

Mr. Adams is a program manager for the Army's BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) program at the Pentagon. Between 1992 and 1994, he was the director of public works for the Combined Armed Forces Command in Fort Lee, Va. He was also an assistant professor of economics at West Point.

Mr. Adams received a bachelor's degree from West Point and a master's degree in business administration from Harvard University.

"The most satisfying job I've had was the two years I spent as the director of public works in Fort Lee," he said.

The other finalist, George W. Riedesel of Westfield, N.Y., is no longer interested in the job, said city administrator Randy Oliver. Mr. Riedesel has been the director of the Chautauqua County Department of Public Works since 1983.

Mr. Oliver is trying to arrange an interview another finalist, Jack T. Kretzer Jr., on Tuesday.

Mr. Kretzer is a county engineer in Winnebago County, Ill. and is a former manager of the department of public utilities in St. Louis, Mo.

Commissioners are scheduled to vote on the position at Tuesday's meeting of the full board. The board could decide to hire Mr. Adams even if another candidate has not been interviewed by that meeting, or they could wait until other candidates can be interviewed.

The former public works director, Millard Gooding, retired in November. In March, commissioners hoped to name William Carson of Berkeley, S.C., to the position, but he turned down the job. Michael Greene has been serving as interim director.