MARION -- Jessica Force, human resources director for Williamson County, is making the jump to municipal government as HR director for the City of Marion.
Her hiring at $56,000 per year, full-time plus benefits, was approved 5-0 by the Marion City Council on Monday night.
She was greeted by Mayor Mike Absher and commissioners Doug Patton, John M. Barwick Jr., Jim Webb and John Stoecklin.
In a special meeting on April 26, Absher said there was a need for an HR director, and he asked for council consent to advertise for the job.
"I like a challenge and am looking forward to working for Mayor Absher and the city," said Force, a resident of Marion. "I'm going to miss working for the county. It's been an emotional roller coaster for me, and this was not an easy decision because I consider those people like family to me. But it was time for a change."
Force, who started out as an administrative assistant to the county board, took over human resources responsibilities about three years into her employment.
Her first day on the new job will be May 28.
For the Police Department, the council unanimously approved Ashley Olson, Justin Wing and Zane Withers as team leads in the communications department. The move, approved by the police union, would spread out the supervisory duties of MPD's dispatching from one person over 24 hours to three supervisors.
In the long run, officials said, it would mean less overtime for the supervisors.
Still on the council docket is a new police chief. Absher reported that seven candidates, from the MPD and from outside Marion, had been interviewed. Absher said that Phase II of the interview process will involve the candidates being given a mock crime situation in which they need to consult with the state's attorney and then make a report on the case to the press, to see how they handle the pressure.
"I want to know who my wingman will be in these situations," Absher said.
In new business, the council approved the following unanimously:
• Credit for 14.5 months for purposes of longevity and vacation benefits from The HUB Recreation Center Marketing and Business Development Director Hilary Holdinghausen. The remaining original HUB employee, Holdinghausen helped open the facility 2015 while it was still being run by Sports Facilities Management. The council agreed to include her SFM tenure in Marion with her city employment.
• The Communications Center Subdivision, developed by Cam McCurdy.
• Demolition of property at 401 N. Buchanan St. awarded to low bidder, Neat Cut, for $5,400.
• The low bid of $25,865 from Marion-based J.M. Jones Construction for emergency repairs to the sewer line on Finucane Street.
• The hiring of temporary summer employees for the sewer and street departments, as provided by the Local 773 Apprenticeship Program.
Managing Editor John Homan contributed to this story.