Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes says he’s already working on replacement plans for three key city employees scheduled to depart in the first half of 2020.
Police Chief Troy Bacon and Building and Zoning Inspector Sam Payne are retiring—Bacon after eight years in his role, and Payne after more than 12.
Frankfort Human Resources Director Jack Dodd is leaving to run the city of Kokomo’s HR department—a role he previously held from 2003 to 2007.
Bacon will leave in April, and will train Deputy Chief – and current Clinton County Commissioner -- Scott Shoemaker to take over the top job.
McBarnes says he’s currently looking at candidates who can take on Payne’s inspection job after he retires on March 1, though the mayor also acknowledges the challenge of finding someone with the breadth of necessary experience.
“You have to have someone that has a home inspection background, and you also have to have someone that can vet and look at larger industrial projects—like a $160 million dollar expansion for Frito-Lay,” McBarnes says.
McBarnes says Dodd’s departure will require an “all hands on deck” approach to the city’s human resource needs.
“That’s definitely going to be a task and a chore here in less than 30 days to get that position filled,” McBarnes says.
Dodd originated the job in Frankfort, and McBarnes says it’s important for the city to maintain the structure he helped build.
McBarnes says before Dodd’s arrival, many human resource needs for about 200 city employees were administered by a group that included himself, the Clerk Treasurer, the city attorney, and department heads.
“It was amazing that the city functioned as long as it did without an HR director,” McBarnes says.
Clerk Treasurer Judy Sheets, who says she juggled multiple human resource responsibilities, says the first time the city hired an HR director, it was beneficial to find someone who’d worked in city government before.
“The public sector versus private—it’s so much different,” Sheets says. “And he had years of experience, so that was something that really stood out for us.”
Sheets says she thinks the team still in place—built up by Dodd—will weather the transition, but she’s considered the addition of an interim part-time employee with HR experience until a full-time candidate is located.
McBarnes says he’ll take input on prospective hires from city council members and department heads.