Among the candidates in contention for the job of Grenada City Manager is Eileen Richardson.
Richardson said she is committed to handling the responsibilities of the job.
Richardson is not alone in her efforts to become city manager and says this is a worthy competition.
"I do not think this work is beyond my ability to do," Richardson said. "No, I haven't been a mayor and I haven't been a councilman, but I believe that team players are good anywhere."
Richardson said although her experience may not include city operations, she believes that experience in the field of law has enabled her to confidently handle any challenge.
"I believe that my legal background would be one of the perfect starting points, but it's not the only one. When you're in the law field you have to analyze everything," Richardson said. "You have to come up with solutions to everything, interpret policies, and interpret the law. So I think that it's a good starting point."
Richardson says that the new council seems to be making unity a top priority.
"I see them actually trying to define what they mean by a unified effort and having a unified city," Richardson said. "With seven different individuals, seven different interests, seven different personalities, and seven different wards they're going to be trying to define what they mean by unified. Sure they all have differences, but yet they can work as a unified body and I would like to be on the unity team."
As a graduate of Jackson State University Richardson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. This led her to further her education by attending the Southern University School of Law in Baton Rouge. After earning a juris doctor in 1978, she returned to Grenada.
Since then Richardson has shared 31 years of marriage and has raised four children. She also has held a position with Johnson Law Firm for 16 years.
Although Richardson has remained dedicated to her chosen field she has concerns that some may view her many years of work with limited sight as to what she could bring to the position of city manager.
"I aim to please when it's correct, when it's advisable, and it's the best choice. I would be more focused on administering what they (council members) need and what they want," Richardson said. "Making sure that what they mandate is done rather than just trying to make a name for myself, cause I figure my good work will speak for me. That's what I'm hoping they will see."
Richardson has worked as a medical records clerk and a paralegal. As a resident of Grenada she has worked as an eligibility worker for Grenada County Welfare Department, a legal assistant for North Mississippi Rural Legal Services, and now as a legal assistant/office manager for Johnson Law Firm.
Richardson says the requirements for city manger are not far from the abilities that she currently possesses.
"You would need to be able to use your analytical skills in everything that you do. Richardson said. "I do know that the city manager will be responsible for carrying out the mandates of the council. You're not a renegade and you're not the policymaker. Your job is to execute policy set by the council."
The candidates for city manager are as follows: Inez Hankins, Sidney Runnels, Richard Darby, and Eileen Richardson. This is the last in a series of the city manager profiles. The decision may be made during the regularly scheduled council meeting to be held Monday night.
"I look forward to the challenge and I'm appreciative that I was one of the ones who were interviewed," Richardson said. "I was very honored by that, but it is a challenge and I'm looking forward to it."
Currently, the candidates for city manager are as follows: Inez Hankins, Richard H. Darby, Sidney M. Runnels, and Eileen Richardson.