by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher/Owner – or

Following a month-long advertisement for these positions, the city of Pass Christian filled two administrative appointments at the recent Board of Aldermen meeting Wednesday, November 8, 2023.

After City Clerk Ron Duckworth opened the bids for the East Small Craft Harbor, the position for Senior Accountant and Community Development Inspector; which had both been approved in the recent budget, were brought upon the agenda by Pass Christian Mayor Jimmy Rafferty.

The Senior Accountant position was filled by Ariel Stirgus with unanimous approval on a salary of $45,000 a year with a start date of November 14 along with a 90-day probationary period. The salary proposed was more than the amount budgeted but due to hiring being delayed, the projected cost for the 2023-24 FY will be in line with the amount of $39,500 that was approved.

A few concerns were voiced on the next hire for the Community Development Inspector. No real concern about the individual, Billy J. Dauphin, but a few questions arose about the salary and projected hiring in the budget.

“As a businessman, I don’t agree with government ideology for a one year period,” expressed Ward 3 Alderman Kirk Kimball. “The salary for this position is set by the board.”

Dauphin, coming from Bay St. Louis, will be paid at the same level as the Fire Inspector and this position was budgeted according to Duckworth. The pay rate for this position is $22.35 per hour, which equates to $46,488 per year even though according to Kimball the budgeted salary was $41,500.

Building Code Director Mark Savasta mentioned to the Board that his request would be for Dauphin to start Monday. The Pass Christian Board of Aldermen unanimously approved Dauphin after discussion ended.