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Jerry Maxwell appointed as new county treasurer

On Wednesday, Decatur County Probate Judge Edwin J. “Chip” Perry III appointed Jerry D. Maxwell to serve as Decatur County’s treasurer, replacing Claude Shirley, who resigned from the position Tuesday, Aug. 30.
Maxwell is a certified public accountant who has practiced accounting in Bainbridge for more than 25 years. He said he did not apply for the treasurer position, but was recommended for it by another individual.
“I am anxious to get started,” he said. “I look forward to working with county government officials to get things done for the good of Decatur County.”
Maxwell will serve until a special election can be held to determine the next elected county treasurer. Doris White, chief of the Decatur County Board of Elections, said that special election will be held at the same time as the presidential preference primary, sometime in spring 2012. The official date of that election has not been set yet by Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp.
County Administrator Tom Patton said it was important to have a new treasurer in place, because the law states the treasurer has to sign all invoices and checks paid out by the county.
“Friday (Sept. 15) is payday for our employees, so we were running up against a deadline there for a while,” he said. “We’re happy to have a new treasurer in place. I know that [Maxwell] has a tremendous financial background, and a reputation for doing good work and having good character.”
Maxwell said he took the position with the understanding that it could possibly be eliminated in the future.
“I accepted the appointment under the following conditions,” Maxwell stated in a release. “If the county and state officials decide that the office is outdated, then I would cooperate and work with the appropriate officials to abolish the office.
“Or, if the county and state officials determine the office actually adds value to the county government’s operations and the Georgia Code can be updated to redefine the Treasurer’s duties to conform to the modern ways of conducting county operations, then I would gladly serve as County Treasurer.”
Patton said most counties in Georgia have done away with the position of “county treasurer,” and have instead instituted a full financial department and finance director that handles those duties. Decatur County has both a county treasurer and a finance director, Carl Rowland.
“I believe there are only three counties in Georgia, including ours, who still have this position,” Patton said. “It’s been discussed here, over the years, about whether it would make sense to do away with it. It really is kind of an antique position in the state of Georgia. You’ll find that the vast majority of the counties have abolished the position.”
Maxwell said he planned to meet Thursday, Sept. 14, with Rowland and other county officials, to talk about his new job duties and responsibilities.