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Sidewalk, landscaping report delayed until February

 

Carl Smith

 

An upcoming review of Starkville's sidewalk and landscaping ordinances is delayed until February after Community Developer William Snowden was placed on unpaid medical leave for six weeks Tuesday. 

 

Aldermen extended Snowden's probationary period -- he was hired in February -- by 180 days and tasked the city clerk to deduct accumulated leave beyond the city's allowable policies from his pay. The request was initiated by Snowden. 

 

Community development employees will now report to Mayor Parker Wiseman. 

 

Snowden was previously tasked by the board to propose changes to the city's sidewalk and landscaping ordinances, but that report will now be delivered during the board's first February 2014 meeting. Aldermen did not task any other city employee or external agency with reviewing the two ordinances. 

 

"Health issues, they are real. These are the types of things that happen in city government. We have a responsibility to manage the change in an exemplary manner, and we will," Wiseman said. "I will manage (the department) by having regular meetings with building and development staff to ensure that all necessary issues related to community development are being directed." 

 

Since former Chief Administrative Officer Lynn Spruill's ousting in July, the mayor's and city clerk's workload has increased. The board only delegated one of the position's functions - agenda development - to City Clerk Taylor Adams, but the rest remain unofficially tended to by other city employees. 

 

Snowden earned a master's degree in political science and public administration from Jacksonville (Ala.) State University in 1971 and a master's degree in city planning from Georgia Tech in 1977. He served in numerous economic development capacities for Tuscaloosa, Ala. for 10 years and worked in planning departments for Auburn, Ala., Birmingham, Ala., Albany, Ga., and Rock Hill, S.C. 

 

Major institutions of higher learning call all five of those cities home.

 

Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch

 

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