McComb selectmen installed new directors for the zoning and recreation departments Tuesday night, promoting from within to fill both positions.
At the recreation department, interim head Joyce Smith was elevated to director. She is a longtime employee of the department and received outgoing director Ron Kessler’s endorsement last month before he left for a coaching position at Brookhaven Academy.
Smith, recommended by City Administrator Kelvin Butler, was approved unanimously, as was new zoning and inspections director Henry Green.
Butler recommended Green after his first choice — the office’s fire prevention officer, James Harness — could not garner a second to go to a vote at the May 28 meeting. Selectman Devante Johnson suggested Green, formerly the department’s residential rental property inspector, at that meeting, but the choice was eventually delayed.
Selectmen did not engage in any further discussion on the appointments before voting on them Tuesday.
Other recreation matters, building a park restroom facility and the fate of an unfinished restroom facility, received more attention.
Selectman Shawn Williams offered a motion to advertise for one restroom facility to be built in Baertown Park, and Johnson seconded.
Johnson then asked about the building that was started by Able Construction in the fall but not completed and then abandoned in December after the board and city inspectors deemed it unusable.
Public Works Director Alice Barnes told the board during its June 4 work session that public works had demolished what was there, and confirmed that again during Tuesday’s meeting. She said the minutes from previous meetings recorded the board’s determination that the building could not be used as a restroom facility or for storage.
She did not know who gave the order to demolish the building, but “I take responsibility for public works tearing it down.”
Board attorney Angela Cockerham, asked by Johnson, said such an action should have taken a board order to be carried out.
“Did you tell anybody to demolish this building?” Selectman Michael Cameron asked.
“Not to my recollection,” Barnes answered.
Mayor Quordiniah Lockley noted that the discussion was off topic from the matter of advertising for another bathroom and steered the board back to the motion to advertise for bids.
Selectman Ronnie Brock asked if the city would be using the same plan as that used for the last solicited bids, which were allowed to expire this month. Architect Steve Cox said he expected that to be the case.
The lowest bid from the April opening was $158,000 for two restroom facilities, or $79,000 each. That was almost double Cox’s estimate of $40,000 to $45,000, and almost four times the $23,000 bid by Able for a design sketched out by Kessler.
Board members unanimously approved advertising for another round of bids, and indicated they would discuss the demolished facility in executive session.
Once in executive session for personnel and legal matters, the board called in Barnes and then Human Resources Director Donjurea Davis for discussions.
The board reported no actions taken during the executive session and took no votes after returning to open session.