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DDA makes new director recommendation

By Deanna Ryan

During the January 17th Downtown Development Authority (DDA) meeting, board members Anna Gambrell, Kristin Hall, Margaret Ann Allmond, Dell Brown, Nick Robertson Sara Young, and Mayor Greg Bennett went into executive session to interview three applicants for the position of DDA director. The position requires grant-writing skills along with providing support to local businesses and creating community enriching activities.

At the end of the session, the board members minus the Mayor resumed their regular meeting and voted to recommend the position go to acting Swainsboro city administrator Melissa Kirby.

The city is currently vetting five applicants for city administrator. Even so, Kirby is being kept on assistant city administrator (or clerk), a role she’s had since December 2016. The role requires knowing how to do most of the jobs at city hall - such as keeping paychecks, utility bills, and other city government items rolling.

Before being assigned as clerk, Kirby worked her way up and through several positions within the city - from a secretary for the police, to a clerk in the courts, to finance and utilities billing. As assistant clerk she is often called upon to train city hall employees and cover when people in charge of payroll or billing are out. Even though the job isn’t a full-time position, or full-time pay, it is necessary enough to come with a supplement.

If it seems like old news, the vote has taken place before. Kirby was unanimously nominated for the DDA director by both the Swainsboro city council and the DDA in December, but when the motion to move forward was presented during this month’s city meeting, three council members voted against it due to a lack of due process for all applicants.

Now that the applications and interviews have been completed, DDA members are again pushing for Kirby to continue working with them since she has been helping, in some capacity, for the past year.

The motion to hire Kirby will be presented at the special meeting on Tuesday, January 24th, at 6 p.m. at city hall. If it passes, she will continue to work as an assistant clerk and take on new duties as DDA director. (Note to reader: paper will be at press during this meeting. The outcome will be posted on The Crossroads Chronicle website.)

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