Vicksburg Board approves temporary revamp of Human Resources Department

Published 5:18 pm Friday, September 24, 2021

The city of Vicksburg’s human resources department will be revamped for the next 10 months and answer to Mayor George Flaggs Jr. under a resolution passed Friday by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

The resolution comes after interim Human Resources Director Fermika Smith resigned to take a position in private business. Smith was hired in the city in August 2018 to replaced Human Resources Director Antoinette Bradley, who was called to active military duty.

Bradley, who was hired in October 2017, is a captain in the Army Reserve and an attorney in the judge advocate general’s office. She was called back to active duty to serve with the 6th Recruiting Brigade, based in North Las Vegas, Nev.

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Her original deployment was for three years, but she asked for an additional 10 months.

At the time he announced Smith’s departure, Flaggs indicated the possibility of eventually doing away with the human resources director position and running the department with its three employees reporting to him.

Under the reorganization, human resources office manager Lois Roby will handle payroll timekeeping and adjustments and represent the department during board and any other meetings and participate in grievance and disciplinary reviews.

Kelsey Connor, the safety and human resources administrative assistant, will prepare documents for agendas and participate in executive sessions, approve payroll adjustments from executive sessions and participate in grievance and disciplinary reviews.

Anessia Steward-Martin, the department’s benefits coordinator, will be involved in FMLA administration, be the city clinic liaison, handle unemployment claims, employee orientation and open enrollment.

A disciplinary committee of Deputy Police Chief Charlie Hill, Deputy Fire Chief Trey Martin, Assistant Public Works Director Dane Lovell, City Attorney Nancy Thomas and Connor or her designee will investigate disciplinary reports to the human resources department and make a recommendation to the board. Hill will serve as committee chairman.

Connor and Roby will review applications for vacant positions and select the three most qualified people to the department or division head to interview and select. 

“We’re going to watch it for 45 days,” Flagg said. “If it doesn’t work, we’ll hire somebody. But I think it will work.”

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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