Council votes 3-2 to deny Public Works Director

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Minden City Council’s 3-2 vote shutting down a motion to hire Tyler Wallace as Public Works Director ended any chance the city will be filling that position in the near future.

District D Councilman Michael Roy made one last attempt to convince his fellow councilpersons that hiring Wallace was a good idea.

“I’d like to point out, looking at this young man’s resume, he doesn’t have a lot of work experience, but he meets several of our qualifications,” Roy said. “Knowledge, skills and ability – he’s got six of the seven things we’re asking. He’s currently managing a multi-million dollar facility, so he manages people, he manages the permits at the state and local levels. He manages subcontractors. This young man is well-rounded, and I think we would be remiss if we didn’t bring him back to Minden.”

Roy went on to say he was looking at the benefit to the entire city – not just his own district.

“My vote affects everybody in the city,” he said. “I just feel that if we don’t (hire Wallace), we’re really missing out on a good opportunity.”

Mayor Terry Gardner echoed Roy’s comments, saying, “I agree with everything you are saying.”

Roy moved to hire Wallace, with a second from District E Councilwoman Pam Bloxom. They voted in favor, while District A Councilman Wayne Edwards, District B Councilwoman Terika Williams-Walker and District C Councilman Vincen Bradford voted against it.

None of those who cast dissenting votes made comments during the meeting, however, Edwards and Bradford made their feelings known during last week’s agenda workshop, which Walker did not attend.

“I interviewed him and saw his resume, and I am of the opinion you need a much more experienced individual,” Edwards said during the workshop. “In some ways, I wish we had an assistant’s position to train him and then move him up to the next level. Right now, I’m undecided about him.”

Eventually, Edwards decided to vote against Wallace, while Bradford made it clear how he felt during the workshop.

“It’s a ‘no’ for me,” he said. “Because y’all changed the job description. At one time, it said ‘job experience,’ now it says ‘degree.’”

Although the mayor and others attending claimed the description always required a degree, Bradford insisted there was nothing in writing concerning education.

The mayor’s administrative assistant produced a document dated January, 2001, that reads: “College degree required with Electrical, Civil, Mechanical or construction Engineering degree preferred.”

Bradford also said he would talk to his constituents and do as they wished, but he refused to interview the candidate when Gardner brought Wallace to Bradford’s business.

When asked why he did not want to interview Wallace, Bradford said he “had things to do.”

Photo: District A Councilman Wayne Edwards (from left), District B Councilwoman Terika Williams-Walker (who refused to raise her hand) and District C Councilman Vincen Bradford voted against hiring Tyler Wallace as the city’s Public Works Director. Photo by Bonnie Culverhouse

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