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Port Neches starting early in public works director search

PORT NECHES — Port Neches’ director of public works isn’t set to retire until next year but given the amount of projects the city is involved in, council members are looking to start the search process now.

The council approved a contract for component executive search services with Strategic Government Resources Inc. this month.

Taylor Shelton has served as public works director for 22 years in Port Neches. He spent the previous 18 years as assistant public works director in Port Arthur.

Port Neches Public Works Director Taylor Shelton looks at vacant acreage near Block Street and Lee Avenue in July of 2019 set for future development.

City Manager André Wimer said they want to utilize the partial services to assist and help with recruiting someone to fill Shelton’s position. The hope is to hire a professional engineer for the public works director spot.

Hiring the company will, Wimer said, ensure a qualified pool of potential applicants.

SGR offers a variety of services, though the city is only opting for the marketing and application management portion at $9,950.

The only other potential service that may be considered is the background checks for finalists. The cost is $400 per candidate, according to information from the city. A date to begin the search or number of finalists were not discussed during a council meeting last week.

Shelton plans to retire April 1, 2022. Wimer said the intent is to have a replacement in place identified, which would allow the opportunity for the individual to start work prior to Shelton’s departure. This would give the new hire time an opportunity to gain an understanding of projects that are underway.

SGR offers a number of services including executive recruitment. Current clients include the City of Brownsville, which is searching for an animal regular and care center assistant director; the city of Fairfield, Connecticut, which is searching for a budget director; and city manager searches for Chicksha, Oklahoma; Clermont, Florida; and Sherwood, Oregon.