By BOB PALMER
Although almost a month has passed since Jefferson aldermen terminated City Administrator Kevin Huckabee, effective Sept. 21, the city has yet to advertise for a replacement.
Both Mayor Bubba Haggard and Mayor Pro-Tem Victor Perot do not expect Jefferson to begin a search for a Huckabee replacement in the near future.
“Nothing has been done, yet,” Haggard said. “We will be paying this one for four to six months.”
Haggard referred to the separation package the council agreed to give Huckabee.
“It is up to the city council to decide what to do,” Haggard said.
According to Perot, the council definitely has finding a new administrator on the back burner.
“We haven’t even discussed anything, yet,” Perot said.
Both Haggard and Perot did not see a need for an interim administrator.
“Bubba is doing a good job keeping up on things,” Perot said. “He visits with me two or three times a week. He keeps me up on what is going on.”
In addition to basic city operations, Haggard is involved in several grant applications.
“We’ve turned in the CDBG disaster relief grant for damage caused by the 2016 flood,” Haggard said.
Money to pay for new fire and police facilities proved to be an illusion, however.
“The USDA grant for fire station and police stations, turned out be a loan,” Haggard said. “I don’t know what we will be able to do about that.”
City officials will meet with Randall Verner this month to weigh their options, but Haggard remained skeptical the city could afford the additional expense.
Another grant application in the works could bring more jobs to Jefferson.
“We are putting together a Texas Capital Fund Grant,” Haggard said. The grant would fund a sewage lift station to serve a CEFCO truck stop on US 59.
“We need to nail down the cost situation,” Haggard said, noting Jefferson Economic Development Corporation has “a plan A, B and C” to conclude the deal.
The grants come on top of the two major construction projects in the city. A significant water and sewer line replacement program is under way and the annual street paving project is kicking off.
“Everything seems to be rolling along pretty good right this minute,” Perot said. “For right now Bubba has time to take care of things.”
Haggard also feels he has a handle on the “mundane” aspects of city government.
“I meet with (department heads) when necessary,” Haggard said. “I see Alan (Whatley) and Doris (Hines) quite a bit. I talk with Chief (Gary) Amburn, but not daily. He always calls me if there is an issue.”
“I don’t see (the council) doing anything drastic,” Perot observed. “In a couple of months the council will at least visit on the subject of replacing Huckabee.”
Perot expressed support for Haggard’s efforts.
“Bubba has said he can take care of things in the interim,” Perot said. The council has “all tried to convey to him that we are here for him.”
Haggard concluded, “I am at least smart enough to know what I don’t know.”
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