Flowery Branch has named Hall County Board of Commissioners Clerk Melissa McCain as its replacement for Marja Burney, who resigned the position Jan 9.
McCain has served as county commission clerk since 2012, but held the same position for Flowery Branch from 2005-2010.
“With the recent resignation of our former City Clerk,” City Manager Bill Andrew said in a statement released Thursday, “the city immediately made an effort to find the best qualified individual to fill this position. As many of our current Council and staff had worked so well with Ms. McCain previously, we were pleased to have her accept an offer for employment with the City.”
According to Andrew, McCain is scheduled to begin work on Feb. 13.
County Administrator Randy Knighton said that he only learned of McCain’s choice two or three days ago, but expressed support for her decision and commended her work performance.
“We certainly wish her the very best,” said Knighton. “She was the consummate professional. She did a very great job.”
Knighton said the county would follow its standard process as a replacement for McCain is sought.
“Obviously we’ll conduct a very thorough search,” he said.
“Mrs. McCain has done a wonderful job over the past couple of years as our commission clerk,” said Commissioner Craig Lutz, who also has served previously on the Flowery Branch City Council.
“Fortunately, as a resident of the city of Flowery Branch, I am happy that she will not be going far and that I will still have the occasion to experience her first-class customer service.”
McCain began her tenure with Flowery Branch in 2004 in accounts receivable, and was appointed clerk in January 2005. In 2010, McCain left the city to accept a similar position in Doraville. She joined Hall County in 2012.
“Melissa is the type of employee who is always looking for ways to get a task done better than before,” Andrew said of the decision to bring her back into the city’s fold.
“Her enthusiasm for the city, and moving our agenda forward on creating more active outreach with the community, is a real plus. We are excited about having her onboard.”
Asked if city administration had actively recruited McCain upon the former clerk’s resignation, Andrew said, “I would say we had an opportunity here, and we mutually approached each other to see if we could work together again.”
Prior to living in Georgia, McCain resided in Illinois with her husband, where she was certified as a police officer, and with the Narcotics Task Force Unit as an inspector for the Illinois State Police. Upon having children, McCain chose to move into city administration.
During her years with Flowery Branch, McCain earned her clerk’s certification, clerk’s master certification as well as an international certification designation. McCain has served as the Georgia Municipal Clerks/Finance Officers Association District II director, assisting 35 cities with training and day-to-day operational questions.
McCain will receive an annual base salary of $55,000, according to Andrew.
“She had been paid around $51,000 before,” said Andrew, “and with her increased training and certifications, and with the raises she would have received if she was still working here, we felt this was a fair salary.”
Knighton said he believed she received a similar salary while with the county.
“Although I will miss Hall County as I have made a lot of friends here,” said McCain, “I am really excited to be back in Flowery Branch. ... I wanted to return because I really love working with the community and getting involved with the citizens.”
McCain said she is amazed the strides the city has made in the past 10 years, and she has already begun to compile a task list for when she returns to the clerk role.
“Some of the things I would really like to accomplish (are) assisting with refreshing the website, and maybe initiate a ‘Business of the Month’ so we can highlight them ...” she said. “This will give our residents a background on certain businesses that they may not have known about.”
McCain would also like to review election costs, and determine if there might be a savings to residents if the city brings those back “in-house.” Flowery Branch contracts with Hall County for election services.
“I think it’s important to have it in-house,” she said, “as many times citizens will come down to vote and have questions on one thing or another and it’s great to have staff there that can assist them.”
“She brings a lot of value to the city to improve our website and lower our costs with the elections and in other administrative areas,” Andrew said.
McCain is a Flowery Branch resident with her husband and two children.