Breedlove named interim county administrator

Published 11:08 am Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Col. Gary Breedlove

Col. Gary Breedlove, retired from the U.S. Air Force and former director of the Junior ROTC program at Bainbridge High School, was named interim Decatur County administrator, at Tuesday morning’s county commissioners meeting.

Board of Commissioners Chairman C.T. Stafford said during the meeting that a committee of himself, Finance Director Carl Rowland and Human Resources Director Marjorie Mayfield, vetted candidates last week and brought two finalists to the board’s attention Tuesday.

County Commissioner Dr. David C. “Butch” Mosely made the motion to appoint Breedlove to the post, and that motion was seconded by Commissioner Frank Loeffler. The decision was unanimous, with Commissioner Earl Perry not present.

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Breedlove replaces former County Administrator Tom Patton, who resigned Tuesday, Feb. 28.

“I was humbled to have been considered, and I am honored to have been chosen,” Breedlove said.

Breedlove has 25 years of experience in the military and another 20 years of experience in education. He has been married for more than 40 years to his wife, Patsy, and they live in Climax.

“I’m a hands-on leader who wants to know what his people and organization are doing, good or bad,” Breedlove wrote, in a cover letter to his resumé. “I believe in shining light on problem areas and getting them fixed. I still believe in the Air Force’s core values: Integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do.”

Now that Breedlove has been named, the county can begin the process of searching for a permanent successor to Patton. Breedlove said he does not know how long that process will take, but he is willing to serve as long as necessary.

“It’s a good thing for the county to now have someone in this administrative position,” he said. “I know I still have some things to learn, but I am ready to get started. It’s important for the county employees to know that there’s now some stability and someone they can go to, to ask questions.”

Breedlove’s compensation is $7,000 a month, with no benefits.

Breedlove holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Georgia, and a master’s degree in business administration from Golden Gate University. He served in the U.S. Air Force for 25 years, including a role as a Remote Station Commander responsible for all station functions.

He retired from active duty in March 1990, and then became an instructor at Gulf Coast College from 1990 to 1993, teaching business law, economics and management courses. He served as the leader of the BHS Junior ROTC program from 1993 to 2010, helping assist 19 cadets to receive scholarships or military academy appointments. He was the STAR Teacher of the Year for Decatur County in both 1997 and 2007.

Since 2005, Breedlove has helped lead the “Young Eagles” flight orientation program at the Decatur County Airport, granting more than 700 students the opportunity to take a flight with a licensed pilot. Many of those students went on to become pilots, or serve in the Air Force.