City seeks a gas superintendent

The Cairo City Council has given the green light to City Manager Chris Addleton to hire a gas superintendent to manage the day-to-day operations of the city’s gas department.
During Thursday’s city council meeting, the council voted to eliminate two approved, but vacant, positions within the gas department and to add the position of gas superintendent.
Depending on qualifications and experience, the salary range for the new gas superintendent will be $36,000 to $54,000.
The city will immediately begin advertising in trade publications, area newspapers and via the Internet in hopes of attracting a qualified superintendent.
“I think we need a gas superintendent, but if we are going to stay in the gas business we need to push gas. We need to offer any incentives available. The more customers we have, the more we can cover our fixed costs,” Councilman James H. (Jimmy) Douglas said.
City Manager Addleton also requested the authority to hire an interim superintendent if a qualified applicant for such a position can be found. Addleton says he is not optimistic about finding someone to come in temporarily until a permanent superintendent is hired. “We’ve been looking and talking to people and not having much luck,” Addleton said.
However, all but one of the councilmen favored hiring an interim person if one could be identified and hired.
Councilman Ernest Cloud voted against hiring an interim superintendent.
Mayor Richard VanLandingham noted it could be six months or longer before a permanent superintendent is hired and that an interim superintendent would be of value to the city.
“The real question is if we could find somebody,” Addleton said.
The city is seeking a gas superintendent following last year’s tragic death of gas department employee Wendell Harrison.
A subsequent investigation into the accident by the Georgia Public Service Commission found deficiencies in the gas system operation and PSC officials have strongly recommended the city employ a qualified superintendent to manage the gas department.
In the aftermath of the fatality and PSC report, city officials have said their goal is to make Cairo a model municipal gas system operator.

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