County will use UGA firm for administrator search

Published 3:43 pm Friday, April 13, 2012

The Decatur County Board of Commissioners agreed Tuesday to use the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government search firm when the county begins looking for a new permanent administrator, but also agreed there is no hurry to begin that search.

During Tuesday’s regular board meeting, Board Chairman Dr. C.T. Stafford told commissioners that the county should reach out to the Institute’s professional search firm. That firm would then assist the county in finding qualified candidates to serve as the next permanent county adminstrator.

The board appointed Gary Breedlove to serve as interim county adminstrator, at its Tuesday, March 13 meeting. Breedlove replaced former County Administrator Tom Patton, who resigned Tuesday, Feb. 28.

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“I would prefer to wait four to six months, to give a chance for the waters to calm down a bit,” Commissioner David C. “Butch” Mosely said. “Col. Breedlove is doing a good job, and he’s indicated that he would stay with us for a while. I’m, for one, not in any hurry to push a button on this.”

Stafford explained that Tuesday’s action was simply a “proactive” move, and did not mean that the search would begin immediately.

“We found that the work load for that professional search firm is very heavy,” he said. “I think what we need to do is just secure our position in line, relative to this search firm, as a proactive move.”

Commissioner Dr. Earl Perry said that the search for a permanent adminstrator would not begin until a later date, once a majority of the board votes to begin the search.

“I believe that we need to enter into this agreement with the Vinson Institute, to get in the line, so to speak,” he said. “And then, at a later date, once we collectively believe that we have reached the point where it’s time to do the organized search, we would ask [the Institute] to undertake that procedure.

“I agree with Commissioner Mosely. This is not something that we need to rush into, in any means at all.”

Mosely asked Stafford if he had a timeline for when to begin the search, but Stafford said it would not be prudent to set a definite timeline.

Mosely also recommended seeking citizens’ input on the new permanent administrator, once the process gets far enough along. He suggested creating a group that would be a “cross-section” of the community, including media, Chamber members, church members and educators, to provide some feedback.

“They wouldn’t be picking the candidate,” he said. “It would be simply to give us input like, ‘We like this person because …’ or ‘We don’t think this person would be a good fit, because …’ It’s not that they would say — ‘This is who we want and this is who y’all need to hire.’”

Stafford and the other commissioners agreed it would be a good idea to seek outside citizens’ input.