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Hall County manager gets assistant
Public safety director joins Knighton within countys upper administration
nix marti color
Marty Nix

Marty Nix, Hall County's public safety director, will be the assistant county administrator, Administrator Randy Knighton announced Thursday.

Nix has worked for the county since 1984.

Though he is now the county's second-in-command, Nix will continue his role as public safety director, leading the county's E-911, marshals, animal control and animal shelter. As assistant administrator, Nix will help Knighton with

day-to-day county operations and with special projects.
He will likely also assist with long-term planning as Knighton lays out the groundwork for his first months in office.

Knighton announced the hire at Thursday's meeting of the Hall County Board of Commissioners.

"Marty is the epitome of an excellent public servant.
His law enforcement background and diverse experience will serve the county well moving forward," Knighton said in a news release.

"He has tremendous respect from the staff and citizens. I look forward to serving with him in the coming years."

The position of assistant county administrator was eliminated in January after Phil Sutton, Hall County's former assistant administrator, was fired that month along with County Administrator Charley Nix and Finance Director Michaela Thompson.

But on the advice of Interim County Administrator Jock Connell and with commissioners' support, Nix will fill the vacant role and the county won't have to add another salary to the payroll.

Later in the meeting, four members of the commission voted to keep Connell on retainer for another 90 days after his interim term ends Aug. 7.

Connell will be paid $110 an hour for his services.

Commissioner Billy Powell said the county needed Connell to help with the leadership transition and help the county find a new finance director.

Commissioner Craig Lutz was the only commissioner to object. After the meeting Thursday, Lutz said he thought keeping Connell after new administrators had been hired would create confusion among county employees over leadership roles.

Contracts detailing payment agreements for both Knighton and Nix's new positions were not available Thursday.

"I am prepared to help move the county forward and support Randy as he implements policy set by the commissioners," Marty Nix said in a news release. "I've worked for Hall County most of my life, and I am proud of the government we have become. I am honored to continue serving in this new role."

Nix, a Hall County native, was appointed public safety director in April 2009. In that job, he oversaw all emergency responses in Hall County, according to his biography on the Hall County government Web site. Nix has more than 25 years of experience in law enforcement.

He worked in the Hall County Sheriff's Office and the district attorney's office. He previously was deputy warden of the Hall County Correctional Institution.

Nix grew up in the Clermont area and graduated from North Hall High School. He has a criminal justice degree from North Georgia College and a master's degree in public administration from Columbus State University.

Commissioners welcomed Nix into his new position Thursday night, though some did so with a word of caution.

"You've got a real challenge on your hands," Chairman Tom Oliver said.

Also at Thursday's meeting, the commission voted down a proposal to turn a 560-foot driveway leading to the Sardis Sports Complex into a county-maintained road.

Commissioners Billy Powell and Scott Gibbs supported the plan, which would allow the county to repair the pock-marked driveway using funds from a special local option sales tax designated for road repairs.

In a presentation of the proposal, Public Works Director Ken Rearden told commissioners one road might have to be bumped from the county's resurfacing plan to use the SPLOST money for the repair. As it is, he said, most of the SPLOST funds for road repairs had already been designated to projects this year.

"It's very tight," Rearden said of the budget for road repairs.

After Rearden's proposal, three commissioners voted against the plan. Oliver said if the county school board, which uses the driveway for access to the Sardis Enrichment School, wanted to get involved with funding the repairs, it could.

The county government owns the driveway, as per an April 1969 agreement between the two governments.

The school board voted last week not to fund the repairs. The Sardis school's parent-teacher organization has asked the county to repair the road, claiming it is unsafe for children in wheelchairs to use and its maintenance does not compare to its traffic.

"I just think with our budget the way it is, it's not something we need to do at this time," Oliver said.
Also Thursday, the commission leased undeveloped park property to the town of Clermont for 25 years.

Clermont has no immediate plans to develop the park but hopes to build a soccer field and walking trails on the property.

The county purchased 41 acres on Main Street in Clermont in 2007 for a future park and library site using SPLOST V funds.

The county will retain control over three acres of the site to build a future library.