McCracken County hopes to up its game with the hiring of retired Paducah City Planner Steve Ervin as Community Development Project Manager.
Judge-Executive Craig Clymer expressed full confidence that Ervin, who retired from his city post in March 2017 after 28 years of serving Paducah, can bring the county more project funding by writing grants and play a big role in administering the projects through to the end.
"Steve's got a strong reputation and background. He's a serious guy with extensive experience in all sorts of project management and supervision," Clymer said. "He knows how to get things done, and he's just going to be a really big asset to our leadership team."
While working as the Paducah City Planner for the last decade of his career, Ervin accomplished a variety of grant-based community development projects including the continued development of the Lower Town Arts District and the Fountain Avenue neighborhood.
"The opportunity came up to work with the Judge-Executive Clymer and Steve Doolittle, his deputy judge-executive, and some of the things that are going on now," Ervin told the Sun. "I'm excited about the prospect of park expansion and many other things in the community. It just seemed like a neat thing to do and I wanted to be a part of it."
Ervin began working for the county on Nov. 18 -- five days after the McCracken County Fiscal Court approved his hiring and $50,000 salary. Clymer believes he's worth every penny.
"I believe, after he's been on staff for a while, that we'll see we not only got him at a bargain but he will probably bring in more money for us than he cost us," he said. "The county, over the years, has not really been aggressive about trying to find money to do project like we should have and so we're going to try and remedy that."
Doolittle worked with Ervin for many years in the Paducah Planning Department before joining the county's leadership team earlier this year.
"Steve brings 30 years of experience to McCracken County with project management and community development and grants administration," Doolittle said. "One of the very material weaknesses that we have here is getting transfers of money into our organization to pay for objectives.
"We just don't do a very good job at that, and we intend to change that with Steve Ervin's efforts."
Though there's no full list of initiatives he'll be working on, Ervin is spending his first few weeks "just listening, reading and becoming more familiar with the things that the county has coming up in the future."
Clymer anticipates Ervin working closely with the McCracken County Fiscal Court, its commissioners and the McCracken County Sports Tourism Commission to better the community.
"We intend to start developing and promoting the county more, our parks and assets," Clymer explained. "I want to explore uses for our park on the landfill, the unmanned aircraft park, Carson Park and the Clark's River area. I think that we can be creative in ways we promote the county. That's been a big part of his background."
Beyond anything else, Ervin is happy be working with McCracken County.
"I think it's going to take me a little while, just being new to county government, to figure out all the projects they're wanting me to work on," he said. "There's a lot of excitement in the county right now, and that makes me excited for the things that we can accomplish over the next few years."