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City board approves new hires, resignations

by Danny Wade

After nearly a month, the Humboldt Board of Mayor and Aldermen were back in session for their August 23 meeting. The hour-long meeting included 14 agenda items to discuss.

Among agenda items for the meeting were the resignation/retirement of the city’s code enforcement officer, hiring a policeman and a fireman, two resignations from the fire department, hiring a new administrative secretary at city hall and approving a beer permit.

For the past seven years, Jeanna Shellenberger Harris has been the city’s code enforcement officer. Mayor Marvin Sikes often refers to Harris as his right-hand person and does much more than just code enforcement.

Last week, Harris submitted her resignation and announced she plans to retire. In her resignation letter Harris thanked the city for the opportunity to work with several departments within the city and appreciated the city’s support. Harris offered to assist during the transition period with her replacement.

Harris’ last day will be September 2, 2021.

In other city board action:

•Two Humboldt fire fighters submitted letters of resignation, Lt. Robert “Harry” Ward and Randall Jimenez. Both have been with the Humboldt Fire Department for several years.

“I appreciate the opportunity that I was given to serve the city of Humboldt and its citizens for the past six years,” Lt. Ward stated in his letter to the city, “This experience has better prepared me to improve my career and my skills.”

Jimenez’s letter echoed much of what Ward’s letter stated, “After much and careful consideration, it is with heavy heart that I tender my resignation from the Humboldt Fire Department. I appreciate all the experience I’ve gained during my seven years here but wish to advance my career in ways that Humboldt Fire Department cannot and will not offer.”

Both Ward and Jimenez stated they wanted to respond to more calls, particularly medical emergencies but the fire department does not work those type calls.

The board approved both men’s resignations.

•Tyler Atkins was hired as a new fire fighter for the Humboldt fire Department. Fire Chief Chester Owens and Assistant Fire Chief Leroy Kail submitted a letter of recommendation to hire Atkins.

In the letter, it was noted Atkins met and exceeded the requirements in the hiring process including background check, physical agility test, basic skills test, oral interview, a physical and drug screen.

The city board approved Atkins’ hiring with the fire department.

•The board held discussion on the fire department. Part of the discussion was how to retain fire fighters and the reasons why they leave to go work for another fire department. One topic of the conversation was emergency medical calls.

•Humboldt Police Chief Reynard Buchanan submitted a letter of recommendation to the board to hire Zachary Davis on the police force. In his letter, Chief Buchanan wrote that Davis had passed the National Police Officer Selection test, physical agility tests, medical exam, drug screen, psychological evaluation and he meets all the requirements of Tennessee law to be eligible to become a law enforcement officer.

The board voted to hire Davis, who must now complete the 12-week Basic Police School.

•For several weeks, Mayor Sikes has been searching for an administrative secretary at city hall. Last week, the mayor recommended the board hire Selena Whittemore to fill the vacant position. The board voted to hire Whittemore.

•Abdul Momin applied for a beer permit at St. Marry’s Mart, also known as Valero, located at 2990 East End Drive. Currently Ezzat Hanna holds the beer permit and must surrender his license prior to issuing the permit to Momin.

Humboldt police performed a check on Momin, which showed no known driving or criminal violations. The check also showed no outstanding warrants for Momin.

The board approved issuing Momin a beer permit subject to the current license being surrendered.

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