By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Connell wont stay beyond interim
Last 5 years spent as administrator
Placeholder Image

The Hall County Board of Commissioners voted Thursday to have interim County Administrator Jock Connell pull together a list of candidates for the county's top job.

The commission also gave Connell the ability to use, but only if needed, the University of Georgia's Carl Vinson Institute of Government as an additional resource for candidates.

"My intent would be to use contacts I have throughout the state and people I have run across in my career ... that could very well do this job," Connell told the commission. "That would be my first and foremost approach."

The commission authorized spending $18,500 if Connell needed to go the Carl Vinson route.

Connell, a former Gwinnett County administrator, was appointed to the post on Jan. 7.

He replaced former administrator Charley Nix, who was forced to resign as part of a shake-up that also included former Assistant County Administrator Phil Sutton, County Attorney Bill Blalock and Finance Director Michaela Thompson.

Commissioners since have rehired Blalock's firm, Stewart, Melvin & Frost, which is in Gainesville.

Connell started his career in the public sector in 1986, when he established Gwinnett's first risk management and insurance program. He worked his way through various departments over 23 years, spending the last five of those as the county's administrator.

Commission Chairman Tom Oliver said Thursday that Connell doesn't intend to be a candidate for the permanent post.

"Even though some of us had challenges with (the transition to Connell), he has done a great job, in my opinion," Oliver said.

Commissioner Ashley Bell said he agreed with Oliver that Connell has done a "great job."

"And now that we know that ... you won't be here, you have a great deal of independence in saying what's on your mind," he said to Connell, chuckling. "We appreciate that, too."

Bell added that he believes the county should make the opening public on its website to encourage potential applicants.

He also told Connell that if he decides to consult with the Carl Vinson Institute "to increase the pool, I think it should be limited to the state of Georgia, primarily because we have very specific legal concerns in laws that have changed in county government."

"In that case, you might want to limit to Hall County ... and the way we do things here," Oliver said, drawing laughter from the board.

Oliver said after the meeting that he expects the search to take three to six months, possibly longer, "depending on the applicants."

He added that Connell will stay in place until a replacement is found and there is "an orderly transition."