Tupelo agency chiefs to keep their jobs

TUPELO – Two months into the current city administration, department heads learned Monday they’d keep their jobs and also gain another member among their ranks.
Mayor Jack Reed Jr. announced during a City Council work session that he’ll recommend reappointing all department heads during the council’s regular meeting today. He’ll also promote the manager of the Personnel Department, Cassandra Moore, to a director position and change the department’s name to Human Resources.
Moore will become the city’s only minority department head when the change takes place.
Reed also will make permanent two department directors who currently are serving in interim capacities. Sid Ruseell will head Public Works, and Thomas Walker will head the Fire Department.
A third interim position, now held by Kim Hanna, will be split into two jobs. Hanna will become the permanent city clerk but her temporary role of chief financial officer will go to former Tupelo CFO Lynn Norris, who will assume his duties in January, Reed said.
The council must vote to accept Reed’s recommendations before they’re confirmed. The seven-member board is expected to approve the slate of appointments without controversy.
By law, the mayor must appoint or reappoint all department heads annually. Reed began his term in early July but said he wanted time to familiarize himself with staff before making any decisions.
“I wanted to understand them and get to know them,” Reed told the council this week. “I’ve had two months to do that.”
Council members voiced little concern about Reed’s decisions, except to question the benefits of changing the Personnel Department’s name along with the title of its top employees. Assistant department manager Contanna Purnell will become assistant director under Reed’s plan.

Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or emily.lecoz@djournal.com.

Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal