BOYCE — At least four people will be considered to fill the town's vacant code enforcement officer position.
The officer is one of three municipal positions in this Clarke County town of roughly 600 residents. Treasurer and town manager are the other two. All are part-time jobs.
Seven people initially voiced interest in the job but only four applications have been submitted, Town Manager David Winsatt told Boyce Town Council during its recent meeting.
"I think you should interview all four," Mayor Richard Kibler told him.
Winsatt said he will.
"Before the next meeting?" asked Councilman Floyd Hudson. Winsatt said that is possible, depending on the applicants' schedules.
The council will have a work session at 6 p.m. Jan. 26 at Town Hall on East Main Street. Its next regular monthly meeting will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 2 at the Boyce Volunteer Fire Company's social hall on Greenway Avenue.
Winsatt said several of the applicants have experience in code enforcement.
"Experience should be a major consideration" in determining who is hired, said Ruth Hayes, the council's recorder.
None of the applicants live in Boyce, Winsatt said. Yet that is not required under the job description.
Duties of the code enforcement officer include ensuring residents and businesses comply with Boyce's zoning and subdivision ordinances, including rules regarding inoperative vehicles and unsightly property appearances. When necessary, the officer takes the matters before a magistrate and/or the courts.
The most recent officer, Carlos Nunes, resigned last summer after holding the job for about a year. Council members have indicated they want to fill the position as quickly as possible because of ongoing problems such as inoperative vehicles parked along streets.
Despite enforcement duties, the code enforcement officer has no law-enforcement authority and cannot carry a gun or arrest people.
Hudson said he wants to make sure whoever is hired doesn't carry a weapon. Winsatt said that will be in the officer's contract, but he will verbally emphasize it to the employee, too.
"Just to be clear, I'm not anti-gun," Hudson continued. He's just concerned about liability issues, he said.
Last fall, council members discussed hiring a police officer — instead of a code enforcement officer — following a rash of complaints about speeding in Boyce. They later gave up on that idea, deeming it too costly for the town in terms of paying a full-time salary and related costs, such as for insurance and uniforms.