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City, county record savings with internal hires

 

Carl Smith

 

Oktibbeha County and Starkville saved a combined $54,179 by promoting internal officials to key supervisory positions within each governing body. 

 

The county alone slashed its payroll by $43,135 when supervisors promoted former Comptroller Emily Garrard to county administrator. Garrard's salary was set at $95,000 annually, while her predecessor, Don Posey, previously made $138,135 per year. 

 

A portion of that money will slide over to Road Manager Victor Collins after supervisors increased his salary to $70,000. He previously earned almost $63,500. 

 

Garrard will serve in a dual role as county administrator and comptroller until a new replacement starts. As the county's comptroller, Garrard made up to almost $68,000 annually. 

 

Three internal promotions also helped save Starkville $11,044 in annual salary commitments. 

 

This year, aldermen set City Clerk Lesa Hardin's, Starkville police Chief Frank Nichols' and Community Developer Buddy Sanders' wages lower than their former superiors' pay. 

 

The city clerk's salary was decreased $16,602 after Chief Administrative Officer Taylor Adams carried over the city's finance director moniker to his new position. Hardin's salary was set at $58,000 by the board. 

 

Nichols, a 22-year veteran of Starkville Police Department, annual wage was set at $73,500, or a $5,998 decrease from former Chief David Lindley's $79,498 yearly salary. 

 

Sanders, the most-recent internal promotion, will earn $68,000, while his predecessor, former Community Developer William Snowden, was hired at a $76,125 annual rate, or $8,125 more than what his replacement earns annually. 

 

Adams is the only recent Starkville promotion to earn more annually than his predecessor. As CAO and the city's financial director, he earns $80,850. Former CAO Lynn Spruill's salary was previously $61,169. 

 

Aldermen previously approved advertising for the vacant city planner position previously held by Sanders and set its salary at $55,000.

 

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

 

 

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