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A look at $237K yearly contract for new Hall County administrator
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Former assistant county administrator Zach Propes has been hired as new county administrator. - photo by Scott Rogers

New Hall County administrator Zach Propes will be paid $236,900 a year in salary – about $2,000 more than his predecessor. 

Propes is replacing former administrator Jock Connell, after commissioners decided on the promotion without a formal interview process or consideration of other potential candidates outside of Hall County. 

Connell, who’s set to retire in March, received an annual salary of $234,605 after serving as county administrator for five years.

A separation agreement in the contract states that Propes, who may be terminated by commissioners at any time, will receive a “lump sum cash payment equal to 12 months aggregate annual salary” if his contract is terminated, unless the separation is a result of misconduct or a criminal offense.

Propes, 35, will earn a monthly vehicle allowance of $1000, according to the agreement, as well as an additional $125 per month reimbursement for business use of his personal phone, unless he’s provided a phone specifically for work purposes. 

Details in the employment agreement state that Propes will be subject to annual evaluations, and that the county “may put in place cost reduction measures” related to his salary “at any time and for any duration as required by a lack of financial resources.” 

The agreement bars Propes from running for political office and provides certain legal insurances to him related to the job.

“The county shall defend, save harmless and indemnify the employee against any claim or demand or legal action, whether groundless or otherwise, arising out of an alleged act or omission occurring in the performance of the employee’s duties as county administrator,” the agreement states. “The county or its insurance carrier will pay the amount of any settlement or judgment agreed to or rendered against the employee and the county may agree to such settlement or the payment of a judgment with or without the express consent of the employee.”

The contract offers Propes insurance and retirement benefits at the same level as received by other county employees. 

Propes’ contract took effect with the commission’s approval Jan. 12 and will “continue thereafter unless or until the agreement is terminated by either party.”