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February 22, 2012

Gahan makes three hires

New Albany mayor calls new flood supervisor, who is engaged to his daughter, a ‘very qualified candidate’

NEW ALBANY — Mayor Jeff Gahan has selected his future son-in-law to serve as New Albany Flood Control Supervisor — one of three hires announced this week by the administration.

Christopher Gardner is an Indiana University Southeast graduate and a former shipping inspector, and he’s also engaged to the mayor’s daughter, Abigail Gahan.

The administration confirmed the relationship, but Gahan said Tuesday Gardner was selected based on his merits after being recommended as a “very qualified candidate” by the transition team that was used to interview potential employees. Each candidate the transition team felt was qualified was called in for an interview, Gahan said. The transition team consisted of local leaders and residents from the Republican and Democratic parties, as chosen by Gahan.

Based on the interviews, the team created a pool of the people they felt were the best prospects for the positions and made recommendations on the ones they believed were the top candidates, Gahan continued.

Gardner was among the highest-rated prospects for the flood control position, according to the administration.

“Needless to say, I feel like he was a very strong candidate,” Gahan said. “He has management experience, he’s a college graduate, he has a lot of navigation experience along the Ohio River and I think he’s going to be an excellent employee and an excellent supervisor.”

Gardner had been employed since 2007 with Goodrich Interiors Cabin Systems-Booth Veneers in Jeffersonville, where he began as an inspector.

“I’m really pleased that Mayor Gahan has given me an opportunity to serve the city of New Albany,” Gardner said in a news release. “I’m really excited by the recent revitalization that we have seen in the downtown area, and I’m eager to do my part for the city to make sure that it continues.”

Ron Grangier served as flood control supervisor under former Mayor Doug England.

As for the hire, Gahan said scrutinization is expected over every choice a mayor makes.

“I think we’ve done a very good job of assembling a transition team that screened the applicants and made recommendations,” he said. “I have a lot of confidence in that process and I think we got a good group of candidates that are now a good group of employees.”

Formally tabbed as a legal assistant for the administration, Gahan also announced that Michael Hall will serve as the head of city operations. Hall is a University of Louisville graduate and was a founding member of Gahan’s 2011 mayoral campaign committee.

“I’m really excited to do my part in making sure that this administration succeeds in its vision to make New Albany physically cleaner, financially stronger and fundamentally better,” Hall said.

Gahan credited Hall with preparing the new city website for launch in an effort to improve communications with the public.

He said Hall “is a great asset because he brings a fresh perspective to how local government should work.”

Gahan also confirmed Cheryl Cotner will serve as his administrative assistant. Cotner served in the same role under England, and is an IU Southeast graduate.

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