After holding the position open for the past five months, the Indianola Board of Aldermen announced on November 25 that they were promoting Field Operations Manager Robert Spurlock to the position of Public Works Director for the City of Indianola.
In the open session, Mayor Steve Rosenthal first issued accolades to Spurlock for the job he’s done in the interim. “I’d like to compliment you on getting things done, I know it’s been a hardship. Before, you were doing three-quarters of it, now you’re having to do all of it without some help,” he said.
Then, apparently addressing the aldermen and the audience, Rosenthal continued, “Robert has done a good job and I see him moving the men forward and I’d like to recommend that we hire Mr. Spurlock as our full-time public works director and continue our search for an assistant for Mr. Spurlock,” said Rosenthal.
He then stated that they would discuss it further in their personnel session and his pronouncement was received with applause from the citizens in attendance.
After emerging from the closed executive session, a formal motion was made to hire Spurlock with a six-month probationary period and it passed unanimously. “And the board pledges to give him full support,” added Rosenthal.
Spurlock has worked for the City of Indianola for the past 10 years.
In other business,
Four of the city lawmakers voted yes to accept the lowest bid and buy a street maintenance machine after Rosenthal presented two quotes for a Falcon 4-Ton Asphalt Recycler/HotBox. Alderman Sam Brock voiced an abstention.
Brock said he still held some issue with the purchase. “How many employees, city workers would it take to operate this?
Rosenthal answered that they would utilize the existing workers. “The company says that it only takes two, but we were going to start off operating with three existing employees and possibly looking to cut it back to two,” he said.
Brock also asked from where the employees would be pulled, since the public works department is already short staffed.
Rosenthal explained that with the winter months setting in, people that would normally be cutting grass could be used to assist in other areas.
The lowest bid of $49,500 was from Covington Sales and Service Inc., of Denham Springs, Louisiana. Reynolds-Warren Equipment Company of Lake City, Florida quoted $60,255.
Also, the city leaders accepted the resignations of David Lee from the public works department and Officer Frank Brockman from the Indianola Police Department.
They also voted unanimously to hire Annie Winston as a new school crossing guard and terminate the employment of firefighter Rydell Buggs.
A motion to hire a part-time concrete-work supervisor for the public works department failed 3-2 with only aldermen Ruben Woods and Marvin Elder voting yes.
A request by Chief Edrick Hall to extend the dispatchers’ shifts from eight-hour to 12-hour periods also passed unanimously.
In addition, Alderman Sam Brock requested that Hall get with the Sunflower County Consolidated School District’s transportation director and ask them to do some “spot checks” on the bus drivers due to reported speeding and other traffic infractions.
Brock also initiated a discussion related to reviewing and possibly altering the existing semi-truck routes through the downtown area.
Brock said there are too many of the massive trucks traveling through the downtown area and hindering traffic flow and causing damage to the streets. The matter was tabled so Brock can meet with Hall and come up with possible better routes.