August will be a month of open doors and conversation in Hall County if Randy Knighton has anything to say about it.
The new Hall County administrator unveiled a 30-day plan Wednesday to foster solid lines of communication between county government, city government and residents.
Knighton's plan includes collaborations with the Hall County Board of Education, the Hall County Chamber of Commerce, the Hall County Board of Commissioners, constitutional officers and officials from the cities in Hall County with the goal of "focus(ing) our efforts on providing additional efficiency and service to Hall County citizens," Knighton said in a release.
"I want to make sure I have detailed conversations with all of the department heads to receive their input before any decisions are made," he added.
Knighton and Assistant Administrator Marty Nix have already hosted meetings with city administrative staff and are in the process of scheduling meetings with school board members and constitutional officers.
Knighton added that in the county's current budget crisis, exploring the possibility of streamlining departments is a high priority.
Among the goals is a method of providing budget updates to Hall County residents and commissioners.
"I think it's important, given the backdrop of our recent budget crisis to determine ways of ... formally informing our citizen and board members and updating them on a frequent basis of the status of our current budget, revenue projections and expenditures," he said.
Knighton also plans to strengthen the relationships he began with city officials when he worked on various projects as Hall County's planning director.
"I want to know what their needs and/or concerns are, and we want to make sure we explore opportunities to work with the cities," he said.
Knighton added he hopes the talks will foster city and county collaborations.
Mayor Ruth Bruner said the city of Gainesville staff is excited to begin talks with Knighton and other officials from the county.
"Gainesville will welcome the opportunity for better communication with the county. I don't know specifically what he had in mind, but we are always eager to have better relationships with all the other local governments," Bruner said.
Hall County Superintendent Will Schofield said communication lines were already strong between the school system and the county.
"Our department heads talk to the folks in the county on an as-needed basis, so certainly we always welcome more communication. But we've got a great relationship with the county government the way it is," he said.
Knighton said he will provide a release in September stating whether the county reached its goals and how the goals were met.