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Russellville council approves two vacancies

By Staff
Kim West
The Russellville city council approved two vacancies during its meeting Monday night.
The council unanimously voted to announce openings for a street superintendent, a post formerly held by Tom Pace, who retired last fall, and a permanent director of the Foster Grandparents Program, which was headed for the past five years by Carole Fowler Jones, who passed away last November.
Applicants for the street department head must have a high school diploma or GED and have "considerable experience in public works construction, maintenance activities (and) heavy equipment operation experience," according to the official job posting. The street superintendent, who will oversees a nearly $1.5 million 2008-09 budget, will be paid an annual salary between $33,113.60 and $59,529.60.
The city has not posted the opening for the local Foster Grandparents Program, which has an $147,253 budget for 2008-09, because the qualifications for the position have not been finalized by the FGP advisory council and the city council, which will make the final hiring decision.
The current job description required a bachelor's degree in social work, human services or gerontology or a minimum of 10 years of experience. The new job description must include several changes, including a mandatory criminal background check, from the updated handbook released last year by the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees the FGP.
Jessica Latham, program coordinator for the FGP in Russellville, has served as interim director since Nov. 17 and previously worked with Jones from 2004 until 2008.
In addition to declaring a vacancy for the FGP director, the council split on a vote to lower the position's experience requirement from 10 years to seven years. Councilmen Jeff Masterson and William Nale and Mayor Troy Oliver voted for the change, while Councilmen David Grissom, Lanny Hubbard and Gary Cummings cast opposing votes.

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