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City names new department directors
Ricky Morton2.jpg
After 17 years with the city, Ricky Morton has been named Water and Wastewater director. - photo by Lisa Hobbs
Frank Southard2.jpg
Frank Southard - photo by Lisa Hobbs

Familiar faces have assumed two no-longer-vacant department director positions in McMinnville government. 

Ricky Morton is director of Water and Wastewater Department, and Frank Southard is director of Public Works. The two, as said by city administrator Nolan Ming, hit the ground running. 

Morton has been with the city 17 years and assumed his new role Oct. 3.

“I started out as part time in 2002 and then went to full time after about a year,” Morton said. “I was hired as the water plant manager. Prior to that, I worked for Warren County Utility District for 16 years. I’ve worked in water for a long time.”

Morton says he’s well versed on the water treatment portion of the job, but sewer will take some getting used to.

“This job is a bear because you have both water and sewer,” he said. “I’m probably going to lose a lot of sleep getting used to the sewer aspect, but the city has got a lot of good employees. Because of those employees, I feel confident I can handle this added responsibility. I appreciate Nolan for this opportunity. I plan on serving our customers and doing the best job that I can for them. I’ll always be fair and honest.” 

Morton holds the position previously held by Anthony Pelham, who resigned Aug. 13.

Southard has been with the city for more than three decades, the majority of that time in the department he currently oversees. He assumed his new role Oct. 2. 

“I started in Parks and Recreation as a part-time groundskeeper and a concessions stand employee about 31 years ago,” said Southard. “I moved up into maintenance. Eventually, I transferred to Public Works. That was approximately 25 years ago, but I can’t say for sure.”

Learn from the past, but look to the future, says Southard, who added working his way up the ladder has always been on his mind.

“I’ve always wanted to move up. If an advancement opened, I applied for it,” he said. “I never thought the director position would be in the cards for me. This is one of those things that just happened. The position opened, and I applied. I appreciate Nolan giving me this opportunity. We have dedicated, hard-working employees in this department. I couldn’t ask for better employees.”

Don’t expect major changes. Southard said everything is running smoothly and his plan is to keep it that way for the citizens of McMinnville. 

Southard holds the position previously held by Brad Hennessee, who resigned July 19.