Hall County Administrator Randy Knighton is stepping down after six years on the job.
Knighton is the sole finalist to be city manager of Stockbridge in Henry County, Knighton told The Times on Wednesday. The Stockbridge City Council is set to vote on his hiring Sept. 7.
Knighton began working with Hall County in 2002 as a senior planner. He eventually landed the job of planning director and was appointed county administrator in 2011.
He has 30 days left as administrator, according to Hall County Board of Commissioners Chairman Richard Higgins. A plan to replace Knighton and appoint an interim administrator will be discussed at the commission’s Thursday voting meeting, Higgins said.
“We may do some organizational, structural changes,” Higgins told The Times on Wednesday. “We’re becoming a bigger and bigger county, as everybody knows, and we have a lot of things going on ... we’re going to look at it and see if we need more help at the top to keep everything going.”
The announcement from Hall County noted a few accomplishments under Knighton’s tenure, including the continuation of the special purpose local option sales tax program for infrastructure, the creation of the SPLOST Citizen Review Committee, the relocation of county departments to the Hall County Government Center on Browns Bridge Road and the creation of the Hall County Government Scholars Academy.
“I can’t emphasize enough how much I’ve appreciated working here in Hall County,” Knighton said.
The outgoing administrator lives in Gwinnett County near Atlanta.
Knighton told The Times that he was hired as a senior planner specifically to work on the county’s comprehensive plan, which is the government’s guiding document for planning and a map of how it expects the area to grow and change.
“A major update of the comprehensive plan was just completed in June,” he said. “In some ways, that’s almost a full circle of my activity and my career here in Hall County.”
His departure comes after Hall County’s latest budget process, which concluded at the end of June. The county’s budget-building process was unusual this year because it was the county’s first outright tax increase since 2006.
“The end of May and June were just stressful months, but Randy did a great job with the budget process as we did that,” Higgins said. “We had the (Hall County) Comprehensive Plan that had to be done by the end of June, and then we had service delivery, which was even more difficult.”
The Hall County administrator manages a workforce of 1,291 full-time employees, a general fund of almost $100 million and an overall county budget of more than $200 million.
Stockbridge is a city of about 28,000 people southeast of the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Knighton said the city has a “good foundation and great potential.”