The Meridian City Council voted Tuesday night to approve the confirmation of Trent Posey as the city's parks and recreation director.
Posey, who is from Meridian, is a business process improvement specialist at Rush Health Systems and youth sports volunteer.
He was one of eight candidates interviewed for the position, according to Mayor Percy Bland.
“I’m passionate about the development of our youth,” Posey told the council before the 4-1 vote. “I want to see better facilities, better opportunities.”
Posey said he hoped to bring new energy to the position and explore additional activities for seniors.
“I’m very honored to be able to serve the community in this capacity. I want to use my strengths and diversity as far as knowledge of management, strategic planning and all and apply it to the parks and rec department,” Posey said following the meeting.
Bland said he was glad to finally have leadership in the position.
“I think with his background in information systems, he’s going to be able to modernize a lot of our systems so that a lot of the things that we do right now that’s outdated, that we can update and make it better for our citizens,” Bland said.
The city has been without a parks and recreation director since Kelvin McGruder was fired in July 2018.
McGruder had at first been placed on administrative leave in May 2018, after a state audit was initiated into the city's parks and recreation department. He was subsequently fired by the city after he violated a warning not to have contact with other city employees.
Ward 5 Council Member Weston Lindemann, who voted against Posey's confirmation, said he was not comfortable voting for any parks and recreation director and cited the ongoing investigation into the department by the state auditor's office.
In August, Bland named Lauderdale County Supervisor Joe Norwood interim director of the parks and recreation department.
At the time of the announcement, Bland said the appointment was for 90 days and he hoped the city council would vote to confirm Norwood.
The following month, the mayor said he had determined he was not able to get the necessary votes.
The city budget has approximately $72,000 for the parks and recreation director's salary, according to Chief Administrative Officer Richie McAlister.