County Administrator Ed Williams is stepping down less than nine months after he was named to the position permanently.
Williams tendered his resignation to county commissioners during executive session at their Dec. 11 meeting.
“Both for the county and myself, it was a good decision,” Williams said Wednesday afternoon. “To be quite frank, I wanted it to be a mutual thing. I wanted them (the commissioners) to feel good about it.”
Williams, who came to Effingham from Reno County, Kansas, said he had thought about the decision for a while.
“You don’t do something like that on the spur of the moment,” he said.
Williams’ last day on the job will be Jan. 18. Commissioners are expected to vote on his resignation at their Jan. 3 meeting.
“I tried to provide them enough time where we had some things in place before I left,” he said.
Commission Chairperson Verna Phillips said Assistant County Administrator David Crawley will be asked to become the interim administrator.
“We didn’t expect it,” Phillips said of Williams’ resignation. “We had had some conversations, but we did not expect it.”
She added Williams seemed relieved after he told commissioners he intended to step down. He has agreed to stay on as a consultant to the county during its budget process, Phillips said.
“It was a very amicable situation,” she said.
Williams does not know exactly what he will do next.
“I’ve got some ideas,” he said, “but I have not firmed up anything yet.”
Williams was one of 26 candidates for the job that opened in 2006. He was one of seven finalists and one of five who were interviewed. He was hired in May of last year on a six-month probationary period, which was then extended by five months. His probationary status was removed in March.
“It was quite exciting,” he said. “The growth of the county and the challenges are worthy of a professional’s time and energy. What we’re trying to do represents the belief that the county is growing and that surely will continue.”
Commissioners will conduct a search for a permanent replacement, and Phillips believes the county can move forward quickly.
“We have learned a lot in the last few years,” she said. “We have a staff that is knowledgeable, experienced and dedicated to their positions.”
Prior to coming to Effingham, Williams had three employers in 31 years. He spent seven of his 13 years working for the Champaign, Ill., city government as its personnel director. He was assistant county administrator in McLean County, Ill., for 11 years before going to Kansas.