Stormwater management job applicants called

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

With a salary range of $25,000 to $45,000, one of two significant jobs open at Lewisburg City Hall demands an awareness of the Clean Water Act, state law and city code.

The promotion of Greg Lowe, the city's new economic development director, created the opening. Lowe was hired as codes officer several years ago. Stormwater management was added to his duties.

City councilmen want someone to be a codes and stormwater manager. The council won't hire the individual. That's to be done by the city manager to be hired late this month or sometime in February.

"We've got nine" applicants for the job, Councilman Ronald McRady said during a recent council meeting, "and three of them are degreed."

By now, there could be a dozen respondents to a call for applicants that was rewritten and published again because the council decided that the work requires more than just a drivers license, a high school diploma and some work experience.

Re-advertising followed a report from City Attorney Steve Broadway who'd been asked to determine the city's legal situation since qualifications as stated in the first ad were seen as insufficient for the job.

"Your applicants now don't have any vested rights to the job," Broadway said, noting no offer had been made to any applicant responding to the first ad. "If you want to, re-advertise... Return all the applications saying, 'Thank you. Here are the new requirements..."

Broadway's advice came during a Dec. 27 working session of the council, followed by a voting session to proceed with the new plan.

Increasing the qualifications was seen by Councilman Robin Minor as forcing some applicants to realize they can't reapply. He also sought to specify in the replacement ad that the city would consider someone with five years of relevant work experience in the field if the applicant didn't have a college degree.

Councilmen agreed that they want someone with computer skills -- more than just being able to type, send and receive e-mails, and negotiate through a Web site. Management of a site might also be a skill the successful applicant would need.

Residency in Lewisburg or within five miles of the city line in Marshall County is another factor the city would see as relevant, according to on-going discussion among councilmen.

"If we're going to pay them with city taxes, I'd like them to pay back some," Minor said.

The new advertisement was to be published after the Jan. 11 meeting of the council.

It's a significant job at City Hall because Lewisburg faces an order from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. It says the city must abide by stormwater management regulations or pay civil penalties for failure to comply with what became a municipal responsibility when the number of people living in Lewisburg exceeded 10,000 in April 2000 when the Census Bureau counted America's population.

Stormwater management includes mapping drainage, enforcement of sediment controls to prevent muddied streams, review of development plans and a variety of related regulatory work with the public and state officials. Codes enforcement includes monitoring things like overgrown grass lawns, too many junked cars and the like. The codes officer also helps the Planning Commission on land-use zoning and planning issues.