New town manager working before swearing in

Jul. 09, 2014 @ 11:25 AM

The new town manager for Rhodhiss was officially sworn in at Tuesday’s meeting — well, close enough.

After Arthur “Art” Delaney took his oath of office, Rhodhiss Town Attorney Jonathan Jones pointed out that Delaney and Mayor Rick Justice had misspoken during the oath. Instead of saying that Delaney was taking on the responsibilities of town manager, Justice had Delaney repeat he was taking on the responsibilities of “town clerk.” After a few laughs, the only thing needed to fix the problem was to change the wording on the document later on.

No matter the title, Delaney has already arrived in Rhodhiss eager to get to work. During his report, Delaney mentioned several items he already was working on, including looking into United States Department of Agriculture grants, working on insurance for town employees and turning the old filter beds from the demolished pump station into ball fields.

Delaney is looking at the USDA grants specifically for new town buildings.

“I’m hoping for the Community (Development) Block Grants to take care of the water and sewer problems and then use the USDA grants for new infrastructure, a new public works facility, . . . a new firehouse,” Delaney told the board of commissioners.

Also, he has had his eye on the filter beds, which take up valuable space that could be turned into something fun for the town. However, buildings cannot be built there because it could turn into a sinkhole.

“But, we can make parks up there, ball fields, soccer fields,” Delaney said. “I already received a call this week from a lady asking, ‘Do we have any facilities like that? Do we have a ball field?’ There it is. We’ve got an open spot. . . . Get some Little League teams down here, some softball teams. . . . We can do a lot of that area right there besides letting it sit, give our young people something better to do than breaking and entering.”

Barbara Harmon, who has served as town manager for the last seven years, retires on July 18. Delaney joked that she is not really allowed to leave, that she is only under the impression that she is retiring. Justice and the other commissioners said during their comments how much they will miss Harmon and thanked her for what she has done for the town.