Mayor Arnell Willis has announced that following a 3 to 4 week hiring process Tekelia Martin has been selected as the city's new code enforcement officer.
Conversation around the table got rather heated between Willis and the council members who questioned the qualifications of Martin and whether or not training was going to be implemented.
“We've hired someone who I believe has the capability to get the job done. She has a college degree and I feel that she is very capable of doing this job. She's a go getter and a self starter,” commented Willis.
According to Willis, Martin is currently going through orientation. Willis and his chief of staff Allen Martin are working with her and getting her up to speed and familiar with the office and the over all job details.
“Mr. Martin and myself felt that she had far better credentials and interview skills than any of the other applicants. She has already hit the ground running, sending out permits and getting adjusted to the work ahead,” stated Willis in a phone interview with The Helena World.
Mayor Willis also reported that Martin would be teamed with an experienced code enforcement officer in the state. Willis reported that she was hired at the city's base pay of $21,000. Willis stated that Martin will receive code enforcement training as well as additional training which, according to Willis, is on going for individuals in this position.
Meet Helena-West Helena's new code enforcement officer:
Name: Tekelia Martin
Hometown: Helena-West Helena
Family Background: Father, Jerry Martin retired Helena-West Helena fireman
Education: Graduated Central High School in 2005
In 2006-2008 attended PCCUA for Behavior Health then transferred to Ashford University where she attended classes on-line receiving a Bachelor's degree in psychology. She also received a silver career readiness certificate from the state of Arkansas in July of this year.
Q: Why did you apply for the position of code enforcement officer for Helena-West Helena?
A: realized that there were not enough leaders in the city of Helena-West Helena and that a leader must lead where others see obstacles. I see opportunities when others see problems. I see possibilities, when others may think that the task at hand is impossible.
Q: What are the steps that you are taking to ensure that you are prepared for this position?
A: Right now I'm applying common knowledge and learning everything I can anytime I can from anyone that I can. There will always come a time when you will be grateful that you did.
Q: What are your qualifications?
A: I feel like I'm qualified because I am fresh out of college, very computer literate and I have so much outside help. My dad is a retired fireman for city, which could help with zoning and inspections. My aunt, Rae King, works at the courthouse and she could help locate lot numbers and owners. My stepmom Debra Martin of Southern Bancorp can help by looking for parcel numbers.
Page 2 of 2 - Q: What is your main concern about the conditions of Helena-West Helena and the structures that need to be addressed in the future?
A: Helena is in the process of being restored. It's a process and hopefully it will be an honor to be a part of the process and bringing her back to her best.
Q: What do you hope to gain from this experience?
A: I hope to adapt to new changes, and gain positive perspectives from that change. I hope to carry with me the ability to move forward with training to accomplish the many tasks at hand.