Terri Ferguson Smith
With the decision behind him to not ask the Meridian City Council to confirm Curt Goldacker as chief administrative officer, Mayor Percy Bland is looking inside his administration for an interim CAO.
Bland said on Friday that he was not going to ask for Goldacker's confirmation as he was not certain of getting the votes from the council. He said then he would appoint another department head to temporarily carry out the duties of CAO until a new candidate can be brought in.
On Monday he announced his pick for interim CAO.
"I have placed Hugh Smith in the interim position of CAO for the city of Meridian beginning this Wednesday," Bland said via text message on Monday.
Smith is the interim director of Public Works and Bland said he intends to ask for his confirmation at the council's first December meeting.
Smith started working for the city in 1996 as a bacteriologist and before his appointment as interim director he was director of operations.
The council included on its agenda for this afternoon's meeting an order suspending pay for the CAO position effective Nov. 20, 2013 until such time as a new appointment is presented for confirmation."
The council recently changed the city's policy regarding temporary hires, both those who fall under civil service protection and those who do not. The suspension of salary was included in those changes and specify that the mayor must ask for confirmation of a department head or the CAO within 90 days of their appointment. Failure to do so may result in the city council, at its discretion, issuing an order suspending the compensation of the employee.
Today's meeting starts at 5 p.m. on the third floor of City Hall, 601 23rd Avenue.