Bean Withdraws

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bean withdraws; 12 will interview for administrator

By Billy Davis

The search for Panola County government’s next administrator will continue with one less applicant following an announcement Monday by road manager Lygunnah Bean.

At the supervisors’ Second District meeting, Bean used his board report to formally announce he was dropping out of the application process. He told a reporter after the meeting that he had advised supervisors of his decision earlier.

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“I don’t like to surprise my bosses,” he said of the public forum.

With Bean dropping out, 12 applicants are now vying for the job, arguably one of the most influential and important posts in the county.

Next Monday, June 21, supervisors and current administrator David Chandler are set to begin interviewing applicants in the county boardroom in Batesville. Those interviews will begin at 9 a.m. and continue in 30-minute intervals.

Bean’s announcement effectively ended a political drama that began last year when he stated publicly that he was not actively pursuing the administrator’s job. Supervisors seemed to ensure Bean would not get the job when they agreed with Chandler’s suggestion that the next hiring possess a bachelor’s degree.

But Bean submitted an application anyway, and the board’s job qualification policy dissolved last month when Supervisor Robert Avant directed Chandler to interview three applicants without degrees.

Among other supervisors, Kelly Morris solely protested Avant’s suggestion, leaving Chandler to follow the board president’s order.

After announcing his decision Monday, Bean then turned the board’s attention to his road department budget. As the road manager passed out his monthly report, he told the board that “a certain report is going around my back” that is charging him with poor management of road funds.

Bean used that vague accusation to point to numerous work orders being carried out by the road department during the summer months. No matter the cost, each assignment is being accomplished, he said.

If the pace of work continues, “we need to have a frank discussion about my budget numbers,” he added.

To ready for next week’s interviews, Chandler passed out to supervisors a list of 10 questions he said he plans to ask each applicant.

“These questions are job specific,” he told the board.

All but two of the remaining applicants are scheduled for interviews, Chandler said.