Newell: Development director is appointed

PARKERSBURG – Officials say the appointment of Rickie Yeager as next year’s development director is allowed under the city charter.

Mayor Bob Newell said the development department as well as its director were established by ordinance in 1994 and follows the same rules as positions established through the city’s charter. The position is one of a handful of appointed positions within the city.

Yeager was appointed by the mayor and approved by council Sept. 10 and will begin as the new development director Jan. 1 of next year.

“All of the department heads are appointed,” said Pam Salvage, personnel director for the city. Those positions include the development director, public works director, personnel director, city attorney and the fire and police chiefs, she said.

Those positions do not require the job to be posted, but also have a limited lifespan.

“By charter they expire at the end of the term of the mayor,” Newell said.

Ann Conageski, who is retiring from the development director position at the end of the year, was herself appointed and confirmed by council in January as Newell began his third term of office. Conageski has been development director for more than nine years.

“Even if you have the same mayor coming back, you have to appoint those positions again,” Newell said.

Newell said the position Yeager will vacate, that of city planner/planning administrator, must be posted. Salvage said the planning administrator position was posted on the city’s web site Sept. 11 and a legal ad will run in this Sunday’s Parkersburg News and Sentinel to advertise the position.

Salvage said if a person appointed to a position is replaced, for example by a new mayor, if that employee came from the city ranks they would return to a “comparable position” within that department.