January 9, 2014 10:18:52 AM
Call it damage control. On Tuesday, the Starkville Board of Aldermen selected Taylor Adams as its new chief administrative officer. Adams will continue to keep his old jobs as city clerk and finance director until those positions can be filled.
It is no reflection on Adams' ability to say Tuesday's decision was one that need not have ever been made. This is a position that should never have been open in the first place. When the current board took over in July, one of its first acts was to purge "undesireables" from city government. Lynn Spruill, whose credentials were never challenged, was shown the door by a board of aldermen who refused to state the reasons for her dismissal, a misguided act of cowardice that should not be forgotten.
The best that can be said then, is that the board at least didn't compound its initial error.
Adams, is indeed, a good choice. In his previous functions with the city, he has demonstrated excellent people skills, something that will be sorely tested by a board composed of some members who have personal, private agendas and are extremely sensitive about them. He has also displayed an incredible work ethic, ably and thoroughly performing a heavy workload that fell on his shoulders as the result of the board's recent staff purges. He is competent, bright and energetic.
Beyond that, Adams is an agreeable sort, not likely to clash with board members, no matter how ill-informed they are likely to be. He'll go along to get along, which may not be a good thing considering this board's track record.
And he is an "excellent father," according to alderman Ben Carver, who dances extremely close to the flame on this point. Only males can be "excellent fathers," after all. We are not at all sure if Carver's observation about Adam's "fathering" skills are either relevant to the position Adams will be asked to perform or anything less than a dog whistle to those who feel city government is a man's job.
"I am looking forward to the challenges that this new role has in store," Adams said.
He will certainly not lack for challenges.
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