At a special meeting of the Jones County Board of Supervisors to discuss county engineering services, Chas. N. Clark Associates CEO Ronnie Clark spoke to supervisors to assure them they were in good hands after longtime employee Wiley Pickering left to start his own company.
Clark, 77, told the board it was the “toughest two years of my life” as he battled COVID-19 twice, was involved in a head-on collision that left him sent to Forrest General for 26 days, then just nine weeks ago fell and broke his back. But perhaps the biggest blow Clark suffered was when he was caught off guard at a meeting at the airport when an attendee told him Pickering had quit.
Clark, whose father Charles became Jones County’s engineer in 1953, assured the board that, despite Pickering’s resignation, the county would be in “very good hands.”
John Lewis, who has been with Clark Engineering for 24 years, is senior director of engineering for the company and Jessica Hodge, project manager, has been with Clark for 16 years. They were introduced as the two people who will work with the council to manage Jones County Engineering Services. Clark said he wanted to “make a new commitment to the board” and that Lewis and Hodge and the engineering firm’s entire 30-person team would “work hard to meet the needs of Jones County.”
Clark pointed out that the county was never billed for six years or $97,000 of floodplain management. Several projects went unbilled by Pickering during his time at Chas. N. Clark Associates, Clark told the board.
He told supervisors he would provide them with the necessary documentation and said he would appreciate if anything could be done in terms of compensation. Board chairman Johnny Burnett said supervisors would “try to find a way to pay him for services rendered”.