The Frankfort Plant Board will hire Herbbie Bannister as its next general manager.
A contract will be negotiated next week, FPB Chairwoman Sheila Burton said. Burton and Bannister, the acting manager, said negotiations should not be an issue.
The board met behind closed doors for about three hours Wednesday before unanimously voting to offer the job to Bannister.
Bannister has institutional knowledge and has provided steady leadership following former manager Jim Smith’s ouster in February, Burton said. Another factor, she added, was FPB’s final payment to Smith, who received six months salary after his termination.
“I think what we see the plant board needing now is stability,” Burton told The State Journal. “We’ve been through a lot of change, a lot of transition, and not only on the board level, but the staff level.
“The plant board just needs to go through a period of stability, and Herbbie is the one who provides that. We didn’t see anybody from the outside coming in and providing stability.”
Bannister, a 19-year FPB employee who has served twice as interim general manager, called the job “an achievement of a long-term goal.” He said he plans to retire at the plant board after 27 years.
He agreed with Burton’s assessment that the plant board needs steady leadership.
“I think in general the staff has expressed to me that they feel like they’ve been through three or four years of change and transition, and they would like to see stability in upper management,” Bannister said.
“I do think that I bring stability to the table.”
Bannister has a number of long-term projects on the horizon, such as replacing an aging reservoir off Tanglewood Drive and relocating the plant board’s cable and communications control center near the reservoir.
A possible consolidated headquarters is also on his to-do list, he told The State Journal today. The plant board has purchased a 30-acre plot on the Carpenter Farm, off the East-West Connector, from the city for $1.
The plant board is also operating without a budget, likely until December, because of issues completing an external audit and turnover in its finance department. FPB has hired its third finance director in about a year and is spending on an as-needed basis.
Burton, who announced she will not be reappointed to the board next month, said Bannister’s familiarity with FPB will help a relatively inexperienced board.
Directors Scott Green and Ralph Ludwig will be the longest-serving members after Burton leaves, and both are two years into their first terms.