The campaign manager for a Madison County supervisor has been re-hired by the county to perform public relations work for $30,000 a year.

Strategic Marketing Group LLC, which is run by Heath Hall, was hired in a contentious 3-2 vote after District 3 Supervisor Gerald Steen, one of Hall’s clients, made the motion.

“You can’t,” District 1 Supervisor Sheila Jones said when the item was first brought up.

“One, we don’t need a PR person here,” she said. “Two, when he was hired for us, I asked him to show up at all the meetings and he didn’t. This gentleman is a campaign strategist. He represents several county officials.”

Jones said it was a conflict of interest.

Hall also does PR work for Madison County Sheriff Randy Tucker and Madison County District Attorney Michael Guest.

Jones and Board President Trey Baxter then asked what all was done on the county’s behalf, saying there were five press releases sent out in 2016 by Hall on the county’s behalf.

“You two kept him busy,” Steen said.

“How many did he do Gerald,” Baxter responded. “Do you have an example of one?”

Steen responded, “I’m more than pleased with this one.”

“That’s because he represented you in campaigns,” Jones retorted.

Hall has been hired on two other occasions in the past. In March 2013 he was hired to do PR work but was terminated in June 2013. He was hired in September 2015 at $40,000 per year to do work in the county, but that expired Sept. 30, 2016.

Steen said on Tuesday that SMG’s duties have not changed and the $2,500 cost is very competitive for the work performed.

“SMG will continue to implement public relations/branding plan for Madison County,” Steen said. “Some of the items may include: writing and distributing press releases, working with the media, managing press conferences, creating and distributing a e-newsletter, working with the website and social networking.”

Baxter disapproved of the hire following the meeting.

“I believe that since the board is often divided on issues that it is hard for a supervisor’s campaign manager to adequately represent the board,” Baxter said. “I also don’t believe the board has enough work for a $2,500 a month PR manager.”