HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg City Council held a special meeting at 4 p.m. Thursday.
Council members voted 4-5 for the appointment of Ronnie Perkins as the new director of the Parks and Recreation Department.
They also voted on four other ordinances, including the addition of two new positions within the Parks and Recreation Department; Innovative Programs Coordinator and a part-time position of General Manager for the Programs and Cultural Affairs Division.
Combined, the positions will cost a total of $57,500 (Innovative Program Coordinator: $35,00; Program and Cultural Affairs Division: $22,500).
Mayor Toby Barker said these positions are necessary to provide new innovations to the Parks and Rec Department.
"I want us to be innovative. I want us to be cutting edge. I want us to be satisfied. We have to go out and push the envelope, and we're looking for play makers next year," said Barker.
Barker said he does have people in mind for the positions, but they're completely open to anyone willing to apply. He said the positions will be open if not by the end of 2017, then early 2018.
In addition to the new positions, the city council also voted to extend the hours that public and private businesses can allow consumption of alcoholic beverages to 2 a.m. in the event that New Year's Eve falls on a Sunday.
Barker said he wants people to be able to enjoy Hattiesburg nightlife while celebrating the incoming of the new year.