Gross named Demopolis city clerk

Published 10:53 pm Friday, June 11, 2010

The Demopolis City Council hired Denise “Sam” Gross as the new city clerk on Wednesday, filling a position vacated by Paula Bird.

“I thought all of the people interviewed (Wednesday) morning were fantastic, and that either of them would have made a good city clerk,” said city councilman Mitchell Congress. “What gave Sam the edge, in my opinion, is she had already served as interim city clerk twice. She has a good track record with the city.

“Sam was not given any preference. She went through the same process everyone else did. This process has been going on for several months.”

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“Everyone (on the city council) felt good about Sam and the fact that she has a lot of experience right here in the city,” said Demopolis mayor Mike Grayson. “I think it was the right move to make. I am excited about working with her.”

Gross’s appointment to the position punctuated a process that saw the council interview three finalists Wednesday morning. The council arrived at those three finalists after the personnel committee conducted the initial round of interviews.

“I think she was the best choice myself,” said Bird, the outgoing city clerk. “She has worked with me and she has worked with other city clerks. She knows the city.”

Gross has 14 years of experience with the city, including a stint as interim city clerk. She will leave her position in the accounts payable department to accept the job.

“I guess the challenge (was appealing),” Gross said. “I’m excited — nervous, but excited. I was the interim city clerk at one time. I felt I was at a point with my job that was as far as I could go. The next step was the city clerk.”

Gross has already assumed her new duties, but will work intermittently with Bird, who will remain available in an effort to help the transition go smoothly.

“We are indebted to Paula for the services that she has given to the city and her willingness to stay on and make sure this is an easy transition,” Congress said of Bird. “And we will miss her dearly.”