Martha Butler (copy)

Martha Butler was approved as Jennings' new town manager.

JENNINGS — After conducting four interviews earlier this month for town manager, the Jennings Town Council approved hiring a previous candidate.

Four applicants —Robert Bunzey, Julian Gause, James Jones and Zachary Pile — were interviewed for the position Jan. 17. But following those interviews, the council instead decided by a 3-1 vote to hire Martha Butler, a former superintendent of Hamilton County Schools with Jerry Pittman voting against. Bill Butler, her husband, abstained from voting. Martha Butler interviewed in December, but the council chose to re-advertise the job at that time.

Gause, who received Pittman’s vote as the new town manager, is the lead operator of the water and wastewater plants for the town, a position he has held since 2009. Gause also is the lead operator for Hamilton County water and wastewater plants, and has been in that position since 2016.

Bunzey is also a Hamilton County resident, living just outside Jennings’ town limits. He said he has a “hands-on” engagement of leadership skills. He had several certifications, including ECOLAB’s Clean in Place Certification, HACCP and Food Safety Certifications (liquid and food grade systems), White/Yellow Belt DMAIC Certifications, as well as being experienced in overseeing operations in different professional fields.

Jones, a project manager for a CIPP lining company, lives in Valdosta, Georgia, and has an utility managers license in Georgia.

“Engaging and personable with the ability to monitor work quality, manage key milestones and deliver exemplary customer service,” is how Jones described himself to the council.

Pile received a teleconference interview from Virginia, where he is the Department of Family Services Community Development Block Grant Program Manager in Loundoun County. Pile told the council he was willing to relocate to Florida due to having family in the state. However, due to his experience and cost of moving, Prine was interested in the upper pay grade range that Jennings was considering. However he also had no prior experience in town management.

The town has been without a town manager since George Glover resigned in October. Town Clerk Christy Smith has been serving as the town’s acting town manager since Glover’s resignation.

Kara M. Compo is a reporter for the Suwannee Democrat, Jasper News and Mayo Free Press. Her beats include general assignment, government, politics, law enforcement and first responders. ​

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