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Commissioners adopt updated job description for county administrator
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With a revised county administrator job description in place, Effingham County commissioners may begin searching for a new day-to-day leader.

Commissioners approved changes to the proposed job description, after input from commissioners.

“I am satisfied,” said Commissioner Reggie Loper.

Among the changes, the administrator can appoint or take remedial action against subordinate employees under the board of commissioners. The administrator also must make available all information regarding employee actions to the board in a timely manner, and the hiring and termination of department supervisors requires the commissioners’ concurrence.

Also changed was the clause that the administrator receives policy direction from the commissioners. Instead, it reads that the administrator will perform duties under the direction of the board and shall be responsible to the board as a body.

The job description also removed the barrier preventing commissioners from communicating with county employees. It had been included as a means to prevent commissioners from giving direct orders to employees. The modified job description also calls for the administrator to advise and inform the board of problems that could affect daily operation of the county government. The administrator also is tasked to explain, justify and defend county programs, policies and activities, and negotiate and resolve sensitive and controversial issues.

Included as part of the new job description is a reworking of how the administrator works with the county clerk. The new section states he will assist, coordinate with and support the clerk in the preparation of official meeting minutes, agendas, ordinances and resolutions to update county laws and regulations.

Interim county administrator Toss Allen broached the minimum qualifications with commissioners, which include a bachelor’s degree in business administration, public administration or a closely-related field or a combination of equivalent education, training or work experience.

“I hate to muddy the waters,” he said.

Allen noted that Dave Wills, Association of County Commissioners of Georgia’s government relations manager, pointed out viable candidates who don’t possess a MPA shouldn’t be dismissed.

“I think the core equivalent takes care of that,” Allen said.

“When it says an equivalent or combination of education and experience,” added Commissioner Steve Mason, “I think that is the appropriate way to do a job description. A lot of times you will have someone who has all the experience in the world and is a good candidate but doesn’t have the bachelor’s.”

Commissioners also voted Phil Kieffer as the vice-chairman.