Jan. 3—Marshall Todd's first meeting as new Pulaski County Judge-Executive was short, but it all went smoothly, according to Todd himself.
The early-morning special-called meeting was conducted to make appointments as soon as possible on the government's first day back to work since the New Year's holiday.
Todd told the crowd gathered at the 8 a.m. meeting, "We needed to start early to rehire our county employees so they can go to work."
Among the appointments were some new and some returning names.
Marshall brought in John Alexander as executive secretary, with Todd saying he would be changing the name of that position to executive assistant/public information officer.
Cloyd Bumgarner was named administrative assistant, Dennis Turner was appointed as road supervisor, Adams Scales was reappointed as animal control officer, and current interim emergency management director Josh Whitis will continue in as interim director for another 30 days.
"We'll have more action on this later," Todd said of the emergency management position.
After this week's meeting, Todd said regular meetings will follow the same dates and times as they have. Meetings will take place on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month a 10 a.m.
The only change to meetings is how the Citizens Comments portion will be handled. Todd announced that citizens will no longer need to inform the government ahead of time to be placed on the agenda. Instead, that section will be opened up to anyone who is present and wants to speak.
"It's a change in policy. Before we had to have an appointment to get on the list," Todd said.
"I want the citizens to be involved to give us their advice or complaints. We're glad to hear whatever they have to say," he added. "And my office door will be open all the time."
In addition to appointments, Fiscal Court approved the hiring of county employees with a salary schedule, as well as hiring jail employees with salary schedules.
One specific position was not mentioned during the meeting — deputy judge-executive. When asked about it after the meeting, Todd said he would not have one at this time.
"I will have a deputy eventually, but right now I'm going it alone," he said.
Todd said he was looking forward to getting started in his new position.
"We've got great plans for Pulaski County," he told magistrates. "I look forward to working with you guys in the future. ... It's going to be an exciting year."
Carla Slavey can be reached at email@example.com