Houston County NAACP raises concerns over hiring process in Warner Robins

Warner Robins raises health insurance costs

The Warner Robins City Council met Monday night and hired a new recreation department director.

In a unanimous vote, the Warner Robins City Council named Jarred Reneau the city's new park director. Reneau has worked for the city for 18 years. 

At the end of the meeting, representatives from the Houston County branch of the NAACP said they had questions about the city's hiring process. 

"The Mayor was going to have a panel and the panel was going to bring their findings to the Mayor and then a decision would be made, because of the criteria. And so that did not happen, so, yes, we're a little upset about that," said branch President Rutha Jackson. 

Jackson says they met with Mayor Randy Toms back in June or July and discussed putting a panel together to help find the new director. The NAACP was told they would have a representative on that panel, according to Jackson.

Mayor Randy Toms says he did talk with NAACP representatives about putting a hiring panel together, but he never promised or guaranteed anything. 

He says he decided not to use a panel and made the appointment himself after talking with numerous city council members about Reneau. 

He also said he did have criteria in place for making an appointment decision. 

"Their knowledge of the community, their knowledge of working with young people, their knowledge of working with other employees, or their ability to work with other employees. So, again, it was all a mental checklist," Mayor Toms explained in his office. 

Jackson says they are raising concerns about the hiring process and want it to be more clear going forward. 

"It's not a black or white issue, because when you have a process in place, then it doesn't matter about the color of your skin, as long as you are qualified, as long as you meet the criteria for a job, then hey it doesn't matter if you're black or white," Jackson said after the meeting. 

Jackson also says they hope to make people more aware of the hiring process and opportunities available for minorities in Warner Robins by voicing their concerns. She also said they wanted to make the community aware that they should keep a closer eye on the process. 

In Warner Robins, the mayor is tasked with making appointments for department head job openings. The city council then must confirm or deny those appointments. 

Reneau's appointment was approved unanimously and without discussion on Monday night. 




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