May 2, 2013 10:07:18 AM
After the sudden death of City of Columbus Public Works Director Mike Pratt, Casey Bush will serve as the acting public works director.
City of Columbus Human Resources Director Pat Mitchell said Bush will serve as acting director until he can officially be appointed to the interim post at Tuesday's city council meeting. It is not known if the city council will open the job of permanent director to other candidates, keeping Bush on as interim director for an indefinite period or elevate him to the permanent position.
Bush, 45, has been with the city since 2006 and worked in both signage and public works. Most recently, he was assistant to the public works director and earned $37,492. Pratt earned $61,808 annually. Mitchell said a pay increase for Bush has not yet been approved but will be addressed when he is officially appointed interim.
Married with three children, Bush is a Columbus native and a graduate of Caldwell High School. He also serves as a minister at Greater Mount Zion Baptist Church.
Understandably, Bush greeted his promotion with mixed emotions.
"I'm excited. It's sort of bittersweet seeing the accident that happened with Mike. It was shocking to me to receive the news. It took me out for that day," he said.
"As far as being interim director, I'm pleased that the city is giving me an opportunity to fill this position. I think I'm capable of doing the job."
Bush said 64 people currently work in the public works department.
Pratt, 44, died on Saturday after a training exercise with the Columbus Police Academy Auxiliary Class from a blood clot in his leg.
A visitation and memorial service were held this morning at the Trotter Convention Center.
Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.
1. Bully's bloodlines STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY
3. Pilgrimage in black and white COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
5. LINK eyeing Oktibbeha sites for development STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY