No Nichols replacement is expected for months

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 13, 2004

[1/13/04]No replacement for Bill Nichols will immediately be named at the Vicksburg National Military Park, where he has retired after 18 years here as superintendent.

“We’re going to advertise for the job, and the advertisement should be ready soon,” said Paul Winegar, spokesman for the National Park Service regional office in Atlanta.

“In the announcement, there will be a list of qualifications,” he said, adding applicants may come from inside the National Park Service or another government agency or outside federal service.

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Nichols, who retired Dec. 31, was lauded by community and tourism leaders for his work in the 104-year-old battlefield. Also retiring in 2003 was Lenore Barkley, executive director of the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau. She has not been replaced, meaning the peak tourism season is approaching without two top positions filled.

Winegar said a screening panel will review the applications and select three or four finalists for interviews.

The final decision will be made by the regional director, Winegar said. But Terry Winschel, historian at the Vicksburg park, said that may be a stumbling block because that job is also open.

Still, Winegar said a selection could be made in two to five months.

“In the spring, we should have a decision,” he said.

Adding it would be difficult to find someone just like Nichols, Winegar said, “We’ll try to pick a good one.”