PARKERSBURG - After seven years as director of public works, Jerry Edman is retiring.
Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell informed city council members Tuesday Edman, 72, was retiring as director effective Dec. 7. Newell is appointing Rick Lemley to take over as director.
Edman worked for the city for more than 12 years (1990-2002) before leaving. He returned to the city in 2006 to serve as Newell's director of public works.
Photo by Jody Murphy
Public Works Director Jerry Edman talks to members of Parkersburg City Council, Nancy Wilcox and Sharon Lynch, following Tuesday’s meeting.
Lemley, 58, has worked for the city since 1977. A master electrician, he's served as the electrical service supervisor since 1985.
Newell said Lemley was an "integral part of the community."
"Every major event, Rick Lemley has been there," Newell said, referring to his work. "He's well-respected and easy to work with."
The public works director, finance director and city engineer are appointed by the mayor and not subject to council approval.
Council also approved the final reading of an ordinance amending the purchasing procedures to include a provision for the use of local labor. The matter was approved 8-1. Council President Tom Joyce was the lone no vote.
Council member Nancy Wilcox announced the city's annual Holiday in Park will start Saturday with a ceremony at 6 p.m.
In addition to the full council members, newly elected council members Roger Brown (District 3) and J.R. Carpenter (District 5) were in attendance. Both have attended previous meetings.
Prior to the regular council meeting members of the finance committee recommended the city pay off its software loan. The payoff is almost $78,000 with a 2.65 percent interest rate.
By paying off the loan the city will free up $3,288 in monthly payments.
Newell recommended the committee consider paying off the software loan and either a street sweeper or police cruiser and van loan. Those two loans have 2.15 percent rates - compared to 1.53 percent on more recent loans - and would save the city about $4,400 a month in payments.
The payoff for either loan is about $105,000.
Newell said the money to pay off the loans would come from capital reserve, which has $1.189 million.
The committee agreed (3-1) to pay off only the software loan. Committee member Mike Reynolds, who made the motion, was concerned about using too much money from reserve.
"I'm not comfortable spending that much money out of capital reserve," he said. Wilcox was the lone no vote. Newell stressed the city had no cash flow problems. And paying off the higher interest loans would free up money for other uses, whatever council chose, he said.
Newell noted the personnel committee is reviewing employee pay scale and benefits.
"We need that money," said Sharon Lynch, chairwoman of the personnel committee, who attended the meeting.
Committee member John Rockhold and committee president Jim Reed disagreed on the issue. Rockhold sided with Reynolds, reasoning the city didn't have enough money in reserve on which to operate the city.
Reed said no amount of savings would be able to cover the city's operation and thought they had an obligation to provide for the city.
"We have an obligation to save money for the citizens," Rockhold said.