Commission makes much needed hire

Holly Duckworth

HAMILTON  — The Marion County Commission has hired an accounts payable clerk in what was a desperately needed move following the departure of former County Administrator Kalyn Moore.
This took place during a special called meeting on Monday, July 31, in Hamilton.
“In the past few months, the commission, along with Kalyn Moore, discussed the operations of the administrative office and how it could be made to be more efficient,” said County Administrator Scott Hunt.
“Ultimately, the decision was made to split certain roles between the administrator and an assistant administrator.  Thus, when the commission moved Lisa Childers into the assistant administrator role, a vast void was left in the accounts payable position.”
Hunt explained the role that the accounts payable clerk will play in the county.
“The AP clerk handles all of the accounts payable for the commission, which, as you can imagine, is a huge responsibility and is very time consuming.  For the past month, Lisa has admirably juggled the two positions, but filling the AP position was critical for the county and to continue smooth operations from the administrative office.”
After interviewing seven applicants, a recommendation was made to hire Holly Duckworth for the position.
“Holly has several years of experience in this position and is familiar with the software that the commission uses so she can move seamlessly into this role,” said Hunt.
“After she moves into her position Aug. 28, the administrative office will be at full staff.”
Duckworth is the daughter of Commissioner Kenneth Cochran.
Hunt stated, although she is Cochran’s daughter, her relationship with the commissioner in no way was a deciding factor in her hiring. Hunt stated she was the best candidate for the position.
During the meeting which Duckorth’s hiring was approved, Cochran was not in attendance to vote for the accounts payable clerk.
Hunt stated he told Cochran not to come to the meeting to avoid a potential conflict of interest.
“We knew this would be a potential issue. He completely stayed out of the (hiring) process,” said Hunt.
“Once she applied, he completely distanced himself from it.”
Hunt again assured that the relationship between Duckworth and Cochran was in not a deciding factor.
“It was not something that I considered,” said Hunt.
Commissioner Tim “Ears” Estes abstained from the voting. When the Journal Record asked Estes why he abstained, he responded, “No comment."
Marion County commissioners Greg Gunnin, Larry Akers and Keith Nichols voted in favor of Duckworth’s hiring.
Duckworth has been hired at a pay rate of $15.40 per hour.
During the meeting, the commissioners also:
• Entered into executive session to discuss the good name and character of an individual;
• Approved a loan with First National Bank in Hamilton at a rate of 6.95 percent for the purchase of Kenworth dump trucks for District One;
• Adjusted the pay scale for new employees. New employees may be hired in at the level of their years of experience, at the discretion of the respective department heads, with a 90 day probationary period;
• Hired Jack Clark for District One. Clark will receive a pay rate of $14.00 per hour; and
• Re-appointed Tyna Pyburn to the Marion County Department of Human Resources Board for District 2.
The next Marion County Commission meeting is scheduled to be held on Monday, Aug. 28, at the Marion County Commission office in Hamilton.

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