The final four candidates for Hogansville’s police chief have been chosen and will have a chance to meet and greet with residents at a forum May 15.
In an initial plan, City Manager James Woods had said the 32 applicants would be narrowed down to three, but two of the final four candidates were so close in an assessment scoring by the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police that he did not want the risk potentially eliminating a good candidate. The final candidates are James Perry of the Carrollton Police Department, John E. Pearson, Sr. of the Hogansville Police Department, Brian V. Harr of the Norcross Police Department and James P. Callaway of the Morrow Police Department.
On the day of the forum, the candidates will be interviewed individually by the mayor and council members. The forum will be used as an opportunity for citizens to publicly ask questions to the candidates before Woods makes the final decision.
The forum will be held May 15 at 6 p.m. at the Hogansville Senior Center located at 407 Church St. in Hogansville.
In other news, the council reviewed a letter from the Callaway Foundation noting that the city’s request for property was partially accepted.
The foundation contributed a vacant tract of land located on West Boyd Road at Strozier Field in Hogansville to be used towards the development of the city’s upcoming splash park project. Woods said the city had asked for 24 acres but will likely only receive about three to five acres upon final surveying of the land and drafting of a deed.
Strozier Field has been used as park property for years, said Woods, and SPLOST requirements says that public property that is publicly owned is to paid for through SPLOST dollars, and negotiations had been to obtain the title so the city can use SPLOST dollars for the project.
The deed will also include a reverter clause, stating that if the city does not to use the property for recreation purposes, the property will go back to the foundation.
Mayor Bill Stankiewicz commended Woods for what he deems as a rare accomplishment for the city.
“I’d like to commend the city manager for the work he did,” said Stankiewicz. “Having had some experience in this area, it was extremely difficult to get something out of the Callaway Foundation for Hogansville. And we’ve been unsuccessful in that endeavor for a number of years and I thank you for your work and getting this done. It’s an important addition to the city.”
Also during the Monday night meeting, the council briefly discussed plans for the painting of the city’s interstate water tank. The city will be looking at bids that would allow the city’s logo on one side of the water tank, preferably the southbound view, and the Callaway High School’s “C” logo on the northbound view.
Woods said he will also look into providing lighting on the tank so that it is more visible at night.
To close the meeting, funeral arrangements for former Mayor Jimmy Jackson, who died Saturday, were announced. Councilman George Bailey said Jackson’s funeral will be held at noon Saturday at St. Mary United Methodist Church on Pine Street in Hogansville.
Woods said the city has made made arrangements to post an honor guard with Jackson’s body during the public viewing.
Stankiewicz commented on his time and experience in working with Jackson.
“For six years I’ve worked closely on a daily basis with Mayor Jackson and no matter what the discussion was and no matter who was involved, you knew in talking with Jimmy Jackson that what he had in his heart is what was best for the citizens of Hogansville. That was always his motivation,”said Stankiewicz. “It was a consummate pleasure to work with him. His passing is a sad day for Hogansville. He’s a man that gave most of his adult life in service to the city. What’s good about Hogansville is that we have people like Mayor Jackson and he will be surely missed.”
Stankiewicz said he is working with a state office to look into renaming the city’s reservoir in Jackson’s honor.
“As you know, he talked almost excessively about allowing people to fish in that reservoir and lake and I can’t think of a better tribute than to name that reservoir and recreation area in his honor,” said Stankiewicz. “That will be my recommendation to the council.”