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County gets few resumes for position
Official: No closing date on RWR director opening

CONYERS - Rockdale County has received only six resumes from candidates interested in the open Rockdale Water Resources director's job in the three months since officials began advertising for the post.

County officials said the search remains open despite the fact that advertising of all county job openings was pulled as part of a hiring moratorium enacted last week by the Rockdale County Board of Commissioners. The commissioners also restricted the use of county cars in an attempt to avoid a budget shortfall this year in light of lower than expected tax revenue.

Rockdale County spokeswoman Julie Mills said there was no closing date placed on the RWR director job opening when it was posted in February, so the county human resources office will continue to accept resumes for the job.

Mills explained the commissioners may allow certain positions to be filled during the hiring freeze based on hardship or importance of work to be done. She said that the RWR director's job would appear to meet that criteria.

At the same time, there appeared to be no rush to hire a replacement for former RWR Director Dwight Wicks, whose contract was terminated in November.

The Board of Commissioners voted to terminate Wicks' contract on Nov. 13. The decision to end Wicks' contract was done under a provision that allows the county to discharge him without cause.

Rockdale County Board of Commissioners Chairman Roy Middlebrooks described the move as "philosophical change in its leadership" in a letter to Wicks in November notifying him of the BOC's decision.

The water department has operated since then with a five-member management team made up of inter-department heads and Paul Tickerhoof of ESG, the private firm hired to manage the county's sewer treatment plant. Tickerhoof serves as the wastewater treatment plant manager.

Mills said the five-member panel appeared to be doing well in the day-to-day management of the water utility.

The water department is in the midst of revamping its billing and collecting procedures after those functions and responsibility for meter reading were transferred to the county's Department of Finance in December.

The water department is also in the middle of a study looking at ways to adjust water pressure in the distribution system in order to get longer life out of aging pipes. A four-year meter inspection plan was also started this year.

All of those efforts were implemented to better manage the water utility, which has been plagued by accounting problems such as being unable to track unbilled processed water and collect on past due accounts.

Jay Jones can be reached at jay.jones@rockdalecitizen.com.