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Flaggs: Board appointees to be evaluated for six months

City department heads and other officials appointed by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen will be on six months probation before their appointments become permanent, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said Monday.

The board is expected to vote on a series of appointments for different positions when it holds the first meeting of its new term July 6.

“We’re going to make some appointments to move the city forward; (at) the same time there will be a six-month evaluation for anybody appointed by the city,” Flaggs said at Monday’s board meeting.

“I’m going to recommend the board to adopt because I think it’s only fair,” he said. “A guy (working) in the cemetery, if he doesn’t produce, in six months he’s gone.”

It’s only fair, Flaggs said, that all city employees undergo the same probationary period.

“What we’re going to do is something different; we’re going to look at everybody in every position for the first six months and then we’ll make a determination,” he said.

Flaggs said there is too much complacency in the city departments.

“There are too many people who think they own the position; they take off, they don’t answer phone calls, they do what they want to do,” he said. “If I can take phone calls there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take phone calls. The phone goes with you now.”

Flaggs said the board will provide a list of responsibilities for department heads.

“After six months, if you’ve done what you’re supposed to do, stay,” he said. “If not, we’re going to do like the guy in the cemetery, like the guy in public works, the guy in another position. We’re going to tell you ‘thank you for your service.’”

With the exception of naming Troy Kimble as deputy chief for the city’s homicide and gang unit, Flaggs has refused to discuss any potential department heads, citing personnel policy. He said the appointments will be made through a resolution to the board July 6.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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