HomeNewsConservation board settles on stipend for interim parks director, settles contract for...

Conservation board settles on stipend for interim parks director, settles contract for Pugh Bourne rental

The Madison County Conservation Board’s monthly meeting on Tuesday mainly dealt with the pay for Tony Ragland, who is serving as the interim Parks and Recreation Director for Madison County after former director Chris Guerin resigned last week.

“Tony is already doing his job as programs director, and now he’s also doing the job of the director of the department,” said board member David Smith. “It’s only fair that we give him some kind of a stipend because he’s doing two jobs for us.”

The board members as well as the two liaisons from the County Commission – Richard Watson and Luther Mercer – discussed the matter as all agreed he should be paid extra for the work he’s doing.

Board member Josh Morton made a motion to increase Ragland’s pay by $1,000 per month retroactive to when he accepted the request to serve as interim parks director, which was June 8. The motion also stated he will be given that extra $1,000 per month until 30 days after a permanent director has been hired.

The County Commission has to approve the stipend before it’s official.

The board also discussed how they plan to go about hiring the next director.

Chairman Milt Canovan said he’d had a discussion with County HR Director and Deputy Mayor Terica Smith.

The board decided to post the job description worded the same as it was when Guerin was hired in 2020, and that job will be posted on different job boards at the local, state and regional level.

July 28 will be the deadline to submit a resume or application, and they’ll be sent directly to Terica Smith’s office since Ragland will be working in the office and also plans to apply for the job like he did in 2020.

Morton also updated the rest of the board on his conversation with the renter of Pugh Bourne Park on June 24 for West Tennessee LGBTQ+ Support, LLC, for their Community Pride Month Celebration.

“It was a positive conversation,” Morton said. “They were sorry for the misunderstanding, and I said we were too.

“I actually found out when we looked at the agreement and then talked with them that they actually paid $45 and not $25.”

A park employee will also be there during the event to be available for any help the group may need.

Kal Reasons, one of the coordinators of West Tennessee LGBTQ+ Support, said the group was grateful to Madison County for working with them.

“We’re grateful to the Conservation Board for working with us even through the miscommunication or misunderstanding that happened,” Reasons said. “All we want is for a group of people who are typically marginalized to be able to come together and enjoy a day of just being together and having fun at a park.

“So we’re looking forward to a fun day next weekend, and we appreciate the fact that we have the freedom to gather and celebrate and enjoy each other’s company.”

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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