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County manager search narrows

Pike County commissioners held a special called meeting May 30 to discuss extending the advertising deadline for the county manager position. The county received 27 applications, all postmarked by June 1. At a May 29 meeting, commissioners agreed to extend advertising for 30 days and possibly pay to advertise in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. After discussion at the called meeting the next day, commissioners voted 3-2 to rescind that decision and select the top five applicants for discussion in closed session at the Wednesday, June 13 meeting. According to commission chairman Doug Mangham, when the vote was taken to extend the date, the county had received very few applications. Around 20 more were received before the deadline. He said he thought that was a sufficient number to select a county manager. Commissioner Tamra Jarrett disagreed and pointed out the more applications received the better chance of finding the right manager. She suggested Pike advertise again and wait four additional weeks to receive more applications. ’I really would like us to put a lot of thought and consideration into finding somebody for this position,’ she said. Commissioner Carol Bass said she went through the applications and found several she considered good candidates for the job until she looked them up on the Internet, noting there were not many candidates left to consider after that. Bass said she would not be able to select five applicants from the applications received and opposed the vote, with Jarrett, to submit five applicants for consideration at the June 13 meeting. Commissioner Tommy Powers said he found at least five applicants with strong qualifications and did not think additional advertising is needed. The commission was advised that the cost of a 10 line advertisement in the Sunday and online editions of the AJC would cost $429, and would be four times that much to run it each week in the additional 30-day advertising period. Commissioner Don Collins said he would like for each commissioner to submit their top five candidates so they can begin the interviewing process. ’We extended the deadline once already and it wouldn’t be fair to the applicants to extend it again,’ he said, adding if commissioners are not interested in hiring any of the applicants interviewed the position can be re-advertised. It was noted more applications from local residents were received than in years past and most applicants had only about two years of experience as county manager. Bass asked if the five top applicants had to be submitted to human resources because county clerk Teresa Watson is one of the applicants. She was informed by county attorney Rob Morton the county clerk does not usually handle applications and he would work with human recourses personnel to present the top five applicants at Wednesday’s meeting.

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