The decisions came after a nearly three-hour closed session in which the court interviewed candidates for the posts. Precinct 4 Commissioner Mike Spencer nominated David Erb for the building maintenance position, but the motion died for lack of a second before all four commissioners voted to employ Mears at $15,120 annually.
Mears, a 62-year-old contractor who worked for the county in building maintenance from 1999 to 2004, will replace Charles Daniels, who was fired in November. The court is still seeking a road administrator or engineer to succeed Eric Fisher, who resigned in early December.
New Precinct 3 Commissioner Frank Berka, who moved to hire Mears effective Feb. 1 with a six-month probation period, noted the former county employee would be able to receive certification to supervise jail inmates in custodial and grounds maintenance work.
Berka said during Tuesday's meeting based on the interviews that he wasn't sure the applicants for the road post were the “best for our county.”
The court approved his motion to continue accepting applications until Jan. 31, and to put the possible hiring on that day's agenda.
However, Fowler told some applicants who were present, “Your applications are still in, and you may be re-called on the 31st.”
The meeting was the first for Berka and Precinct 1 Commissioner Paula Gentry since they took office Jan.1.