Decatur County commissioners discuss search for new county administrator

manager-hiDecatur County commissioners have begun the process of looking for a new county administrator to succeed Gary Breedlove, whose resignation takes effect on April 30.

Dennis Brinson, chairman of the Board of Commissioners, said an advertisement seeking applications for the position of Decatur County Administrator has been published in The Bainbridge Post-Searchlight and on Decatur County’s official website. Brinson also said notices have been placed with the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia and other job sites.

Read Decatur County Administrator application

Commissioners have received 12 applications via email as of Tuesday morning, Commissioner Pete Stephens said. Applications will be accepted until April 30.

Stephens said the pool of applicants thus far includes people from Utah, Kansas and North Georgia, as well as local applicants.

The next steps will be for commissioners to review the applications, reduce the size of the pool to the best candidates, and conduct interviews with those finalists, according to Chairman Brinson.

Brinson said commissioners will either one or  two search committees, consisting of three commissioners each. Both committees will create a short list of proposed finalists, and then the lists will be merged.

Brinson said a process for interviewing the finalists had not been decided upon yet, and was unsure whether or not the finalists would have to be interviewed in a public meeting or in an executive session.

Will an interim administrator be needed?

Commissioners are accepting applications for county administrator until April 30; and current administrator Gary Breedlove will work his last day on April 30.

What will happen if April 30 arrives before commissioners have completed the search process?

Technically, the chairman of the Board of Commissioners is responsible for the day-to-day running of the county government in the absence of an administrator. All of the commissioners, except for the recently retired George Anderson, have day jobs that keep them busy. Commissioner Rusty Davis said it may take the cooperation of the chairman and vice-chairman to perform any necessary duties of the county administrator, such as signing off on bills, in the interim period.

“There may have to be some juggling around of schedules,” said Brinson, who runs two local businesses. “It’s definitely my plan to complete this process and have a new administrator as soon as possible.”

Commissioners Pete Stephens and Butch Mosely said they would be in favor of appointing an interim county administrator until a permanent one could be hired. (Breedlove served on an interim basis for several months after the resignation of the previous administrator, Tom Patton; Breedlove, who was already twice retired from the Air Force and Decatur County schools, was then appointed on a full-term basis).

Stephens said it may be possible for the county to hire someone with accounting or financial experience to perform the administrator’s duties part-time.

“I would be in favor of hiring an interim administrator to help us out, for a reasonable length of time,” Commissioner Mosely said. “We definitely don’t want us to rush this process.”

“We want to pick the right person that is a good fit for Decatur County,” Stephens said. “The ideal candidate would be someone who is good to our staff and has the right personality for working with other people.”


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