Interim Natchez city clerk appointed

Published 12:29 am Friday, August 5, 2016

NATCHEZ — The City of Natchez has appointed an interim city clerk to fill the vacancy left open when its former city clerk was terminated Monday.

Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell appointed Melissa Hawk, who worked for 30 years for the State of Georgia.

Former city clerk Wendy McClain was terminated Monday for violation of city policy.

Email newsletter signup

Grennell and the Natchez Board of Aldermen met Monday behind closed doors in executive session about McClain’s termination, under the personnel exception of the Open Meetings Act.

City officials have declined to say which specific policy McClain allegedly violated, but have said the city has no indication McClain violated the law, only city policy.

Hawk is retired, and most of her professional experience comes from 30 years with the State of Georgia, where she served in a number of finance roles.

While with the Georgia Department of Corrections, Hawk said she served as a business manager of a facility, handling food services, purchasing, accounting, payroll and other aspects of operations.

Hawk said she was a certified purchasing officer for the state corrections department and worked in the agency’s headquarters, an administrative office coordinator, handling budgets for the commissioner and 14 other offices, and a regional business manager responsible for 26 facilities.

Hawk also worked for three years as purchasing manager for the Glynn County Board of Commissioners in Brunswick, Ga. She also administered multi-million dollar contracts for the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice.

“She has a plethora of experience,” Grennell said. “When I met with her, I could see her energy, her knowledge, and her experience is very impressive.”

Hawk was sworn in Wednesday and said she has been meeting with department heads to review their budgets as the city prepares to adopt a budget for the 2016-2017 fiscal year by Sept. 15.

“That’s not going to be a problem,” she said. “My day will start at 6 a.m. tomorrow, so I can go in there and figure out where they left off.”

Hawk said she has also brought home records to study what type of accounts the city uses in its operations so she can familiarize herself with the city’s revenues and expenditures before preparing the budget.

Hawk will serve as city clerk on an interim basis until the city hires a permanent clerk, but said she has also submitted an application for consideration as the permanent clerk.

Grennell said the city does not have a firm deadline for when a city clerk will be hired, but he said multiple resumes have been submitted for consideration.

Hawk is the wife of Bob Hawk, the director of the Natchez-Adams County Airport.