Decatur County commissioners are making progress in their search for the next county administrator. The search started out with 21 people who applied, and a search committee has narrowed the list of candidates down to five: four men and one woman.
The search committee is comprised of Dennis Brinson, chairman of the Decatur County Board of Commissioners, and fellow commissioners Pete Stephens and Russell Smith. Local CPA Perry Henry has been serving as interim county administrator since April 30.
Brinson said Tuesday that Decatur County officials are currently conducting background checks on the candidates for the administrator job. The chairman said the search committee is contacting people listed as references on the candidates’ resumes. At the same time Decatur County Attorney Bruce Kirbo is conducting financial and criminal background checks on the candidates, at commissioners’ request, according to Commissioner Stephens.
Criminal background checks are a pretty standard procedure; anyone can pay between $15 to $50, depending on the detail level of the report, to get someone’s criminal history. Financial background checks look at the candidate’s credit history and are done using a similar process as the criminal background search, Stephens said.
“The reason we are doing the financial background checks is based on the thinking, if someone can’t manage their own personal finances, they are probably not equipped to manage the county’s finances,” Stephens said.
Brinson said commissioners are taking the search slowly but surely in an effort to identify the best possible candidate.
“We want to find the best qualified person and we also would like for whoever we hire to be around for the long run,” Stephens said.
Brinson and Stephens said they estimate they won’t select any finalists to interview in person for the position until next week. They said all six commissioners will likely discuss the county administrator search in an executive session at their regular meeting on May 26. That meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the County Administration Building.