Tuesday, December 28, 2010

TOP STORY > >Mayor-elect Cypert set to lead in Cabot

By Joan McCoy
Leader staff writer

Although he won’t be the mayor of Cabot until he is sworn in at the county courthouse in Lonoke at 8 a.m. Jan. 1, Bill Cypert is already spending at least half of each day at Cabot City Hall.

Cypert said Monday that Mayor Eddie Joe Williams, the area’s new state senator, leaves the city in good financial condition, so there are no pressing matters that need his attention, only long-term goals such as improving drainage and traffic.

He has said he will not change any department heads, but there are changes coming in his office. Working with Brian Higgins, the city’s human-resources director, Cypert has changed the job descriptions of the operations director and assistant to the mayor.

Those positions will be called director of operations, and operations and administrative assistant. Both new positions come with more responsibilities and the latter comes with a pay increase of about $5,000 a year.

Cypert said both positions will require more computer skills than have been required in the past. And the director of operations will be a senior-level executive who will work directly with the heads of fire, police and public works.

“The mayor’s job is now a 24/7 job,” Cypert said. “I needed someone to delegate some of the responsibilities to.”

The position of operations director was filled temporarily when Karen Davis left the city to become the assistant to the school superintendent. Williams advertised the position in the fall but said he would allow the incoming mayor to fill it.

When the mayor’s assistant transferred to the clerk-treasurer’s office, that left a second vacancy in the mayor’s office. Cypert said Monday that since he had changed the job description for the operations director, he asked Higgins to advertise that position again along with the operations and administrative assistant position.

The deadline for submitting applications was Thursday. Cypert said by the end of this week, he would look over 75 applications for director of operations and 35 applications for operations and administrative assistant and choose his new employees.

The director of operations position pays $39,171 to $58,756. The operations and administrative assistant position pays $22,608 to $33,912.

Since being elected in a runoff with former Mayor Stubby Stumbaugh in late November, Cypert has familiarized himself with the city’s policies and practices so he will be ready to go to work next week.

He also has resigned as director of music for Mountain Springs Baptist Church, and his resignation as secretary and spokesman for the Cabot Water and Wastewater Commission is effective Jan. 1.

“Make no mistake about it; I’m excited about being mayor,” Cypert said. “Looking forward to it.”