From The Tribune staff reports
TRUSSVILLE — Trussville Human Resources Director Peggy Washington Polk is resigning effective Oct. 31, 2020, after one year on the job.
When Polk was hired, her job was to head up the city’s new Personnel Board. However, since she took on the job, the city has been dealing with legal matters concerning forming its own personnel board, and Polk said her job has turned into a Human Resources position.
“The Personnel Board is not as intensive as doing day-to-day HR work,” Polk said. “I worked for the city of Birmingham and retired and that was a lot of responsibility. So, when I came here to set up the board, I thought the duties would be different but when I got here and the board did not materialize, I found myself doing the same thing that I just retired from.”
The city passed an ordinance in April of 2019, to break away from the Jefferson County Personnel Board (JCPB) and form its own entity to handle its own personnel, after four months of research. The city informed the JCPB about its intentions but was not given approval by the JCPB.
The move started a legal battle and the city was ordered to halt any actions by its own Personnel Board.
Family is another reason Polk decided to stop working. She said a cousin who has been terminally ill came to live with her and died in September.
“He died on September 6th,” Polk explained. “So, I have become the executor of his estate and with COVID and us not being able to work from home because of the infrastructure, at my age I decided to focus on the responsibility of his estate. In addition to that, I have a lot of underlying health issues. I find I am putting myself at risk by being at work every day when I don’t financially need to.”
While she did face some challenges during her time with the city, Polk said overall, she thinks the city is progressing in a positive direction.
“I think bringing on an HR department has been a great value to the city of Trussville,” she said. “There is nothing about Trussville that I don’t love. The council has been very good to work with and so has the mayor.”
Polk said she may do some consulting after the risk of coronavirus neutralizes, but for now, she is looking forward to being home with her husband of 33 years.
“We’re spending a lot of time together,” Polk added. “We’re getting closer again because he has been retired for 10 years. So, having time to spend together is a positive thing.”
Polk has also joined the Trussville Rotary Daybreak Club and plans to stay involved with the city. She recommended Amanda Dixon, the current Human Resources Project Coordinator, to take her place.
The city has been ordered by the court to return to operating under the JCPB until the legal issue can be resolved. The case between the city of Trussville and the JCPB is scheduled to be brought before a Jefferson County judge on April 26, 2021.