Jordan, 36, said he is a superintendent for Longview Road and Bridge, a private contracting firm where he had worked two stints totalling about nine years. He said he also formerly worked for East Texas Bridge in Longview for about a year.
He was selected from 17 applicants to head the county’s Road and Bridge Department, and two of the other 16 are engineers, County Judge Dean Fowler told The Mirror.
Jordan, who is not an engineer, will succeed County Engineer Eric Fisher, who resigned as head of the Road and Bridge Department effective in early December.
Commissioners, who interviewed six of the 17 applicants over several weeks (including Jordan and another person on Thursday in closed session), set his annual salary at $50,000 with a 6-month probationary period. He will assume his duties within two weeks.
He told The Mirror he was attracted to the job for the purpose of “bettering Upshur County.” A 1995 graduate of Ore City High School in the county, he grew up in the Cox Community.
In making the motion to choose Jordan, Pct. 2 Commissioner Cole Hefner cited numerous qualifications, including his experience in building state roads, county roads and bridges, and “my perception of his people skills.”
Hefner also cited Jordan’s background in running a crew, dealing with budgets and with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), scheduling jobs, operating heavy equipment, and constructing city streets.
“The qualifications here were overwhelming,” Hefner said, minutes after Thursday’s court meeting ended.
Since Upshur County voters have approved the unit road system, state law requires the county hire an engineer to oversee road and bridge operations if a qualified one applies. But Hefner told The Mirror that engineers “have to meet certain qualifications,” and that the two who applied “didn’t meet the qualifications that were needed” in the commissioners’ opinion.
“It’s up to the court” to determine whether an engineer is qualified, Hefner said. He said the two who sought the post did not have “hands-on” experience with equipment, nor in working crews.
They also had no experience in actually building roads and bridges, only in drawing plans for such work, Hefner added.