February 11, 2010 10:16:00 AM
WEST POINT -- While in executive session, the West Point selectmen named Shasta Plunkett interim electric department superintendent at the Water and Light Department.
Plunkett, who City Administrator Randy Jones says has worked for Water and Light for more than 10 years, became a controversial figure in October after being acquitted of disturbing the peace. A Water and Light customer had accused Plunkett of confronting him at a gas station one morning and loudly demanding the customer pay an outstanding bill.
"Despite whatever personnel issues there are, (Plunkett) is probably the most multi-tasking, technically minded person" at the Water and Light Department, said Jones, who serves as general manager for Light and Water. "We''re lucky to have him. He understands the technical end of the electrical stuff and understands the business end. He''s got a lot of savvy."
Pittman, who opposed the appointment, said Plunkett is too controversial to head the electrical department.
"Too many things have happened. He''s not a people person at all. There have been too many run-ins. Too many complaints from customers. He''s got too much baggage," said Pittman.
Despite Jones'' endorsement, Pittman says Plunkett does not have the trust of many employees at Water and Light.
The board split on the vote to give Plunkett the interim position with Collins moving to promote Plunkett and Ward 4 Selectman Keith McBrayer seconding the motion. Cannon and Pittman opposed the promotion and Ward 1 Selectman Rod Bobo abstained from the vote. Ross broke the tie.
Jones says Plunkett is the only person to apply for the permanent position, thus far. He says the board will set the schedule for naming a permanent electric department head.
"We''ve been advertising the job now for about a week. I''m not sure they won''t let this thing run for a few months to see how (Plunkett) does on the job," said Jones.
The electric superintendent job has been vacant since former Superintendent Paul Young retired in November. Jones says Plunkett has helped fill in for that position as well as the office manager and accountant roles vacated when Jan Wray retired Jan.1.
Shyanne commented at 2/12/2010 5:57:00 PM:
Pittman says "Plunkett is not a people person at all"........Are you kidding me?? This guy has more friends than anyone I know; young, old (and I mean old), black, white. He will make friends with a statue and continue the friendship for years to come!
"There have been too many run-ins".........REALLY, if I'm in charge of collecting bad debt so my city/department does not go bankrupt and YOU ARE NOT PAYING YOUR BILL AND HAVE NOT PAID IT IN OVER A YEAR, I'm gonna have a run-in with you too!!!!!!!!
"Too many complaints from customers"......Hmm, I'm probably gonna call and complain too if I have been able to NOT PAY my bills for sometime and some little "white boy" (as quoted) calls and says I HAVE TOO PAY NOW! That means I now have to chose between the water/light department getting my money or Mercedes Benz getting my money.
"Hes got too much baggage".........Plunkett's been there for 10 years and this is the first time ever crap like this has happened. The first time he has had article after article after article written about him in the newspaper. First time I have ever heard anything negative about him and his job with the city. If he has baggage, it's only because Pittman put it there. Having Plunkett arrested for disturbing the peace, when there is no evidence that a "disturbance" occured. Bottom line is Plunkett come in and made changes; everyone now had to pay their bill, it didn't matter what color you were, and by some coincidence most had a connection with one person...
1. Columbus man accused of molestation COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
2. Man killed in University Hills Mobile Home Park shooting STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY
3. Mother, daughter charged with crack possession STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY
4. Imagination Library begins in Columbus COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
5. Auto burglary suspect arrested after foot chase STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY