Upshur County names new building maintenance supervisor

GILMER (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) -- At the first meeting for two new commissioners, Upshur County Commissioners Court on Tuesday named former county employee Chuck Mears as building maintenance supervisor, but deferred until at least Jan. 31 naming a new head for the county Road and Bridge Department.

The decisions came after a nearly 3-hour closed session in which the court interviewed candidates for the posts. Precinct 4 Commissioner Mike Spencer nominated David Erb for the building maintenance position, but the motion died for lack of a second before all four commissioners voted to employ Mears at $15,120 annually.

Mears, a 62-year-old contractor who worked for the county in building maintenance from 1999-2004, will replace Charles Daniels, who was fired in November. The court is still seeking a road administrator or engineer to succeed Eric Fisher, who resigned effective in early December.

New Precinct 3 Commissioner Frank Berka, who moved to hire Mears effective Feb. 1 with a 6-month probation period, noted the former county employee would be able to receive certification to supervise jail inmates in custodial and grounds maintenance work.

The court interviewed three candidates (counting Mears) for the post, including one prior to Tuesday, County Judge Dean Fowler said. Commissioners interviewed four candidates to head the Road and Bridge Department, he said.

Berka said during Tuesday's meeting that based on the interviews, he wasn't sure the applicants for the road post were the "best for our county." The court approved his motion to continue accepting applications until Jan. 31, and to put the possible hiring on that day's agenda.

However, Fowler told some applicants who were present, "Your applications are still in, and you may be re-called on the 31st."

The meeting was the first for Berka and Precinct 1 Commissioner Paula Gentry since they took office Jan.1.


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