Decatur City Council members believe they’ve finally found their new director of development and, assuming an employment agreement can be reached, it’s Dane Shaw of Selma. 

At tonight's meeting, the council agreed that Human Resources Director Richelle Sandlin should offer the job and negotiate an agreement with Shaw, executive director of the Black Belt Fatherhood Initiative.

Council President Jacob Ladner said Sandlin will discuss the employment with Shaw and report the results to the City Council next week. The council would then make his hiring official at its May 17 meeting.

Shaw’s selection ends a three-year saga that included debate on whether the position should exist and what duties it should have. Council members have been vocal they want someone to focus on economic development even though the new director will also oversee the Building, Community Development, Engineering and Planning departments.

Wally Terry retired as director of development in April 2020, and this was the fourth search for his replacement.

The council on April 16 interviewed five of the top seven applicants that the search firm GovHR USA in March chose out of 39 applicants for the opening.

The city brought back Shaw and Steve Foote, the planning director for Nicholas, Kentucky, for visits last week with Ladner, Councilman Carlton McMasters, Mayor Tab Bowling and city directors and managers.

Sandlin told the City Council tonight that Foote pulled out of consideration for personal reasons.

Shaw, 45, was the youngest of the five semifinalists. He has been with the Blackbelt Fatherhood Initiative for nine years. He told the council that much of his job involves recruiting entrepreneurs and seeking corporate sponsorships.

The Blackbelt Fatherhood Initiative’s main focus is helping fathers thrive socially, economically and relationally with their families. The initiative is also a business incubator.

The listed salary range for the director of development job is $86,000 to $131,000.

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bayne.hughes@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2432. Twitter @DD_BayneHughes.

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