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Weekly Newspaper covering Marion, Schley, Chattahoochee, Webster, and Stewart Counties.
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See all stories in the Sept. 4, 2013 newspaper.

Marion Co. Commission prepares to
make several big hiring decisions
Funny Shirts
From the Sept. 4, 2013 newspaper
By Richard Harris
Marion County officials are sorting through applicants in preparation to make a couple of very important hiring decisions, as they will soon fill two new positions, county manager and recreation director, as well as fill two vacant positions, chief tax appraiser and water superintendent.
County Manager: In June county commissioners made the big decision to establish the county manager position and hire someone with enough education/experience to basically take over control of day-to-day operations of the local government and supervision of county employees. Currently, the county operates with a county clerk who has very limited authority.
Response to the opening of the county manager position was strong, as 23 people applied and the commissioners said almost all of them appeared to be qualified.
They recently narrowed the list down to five people and interviewed each of them. This week they are expected to pick their top choice and offer the job.
We have some very good applicants for the county manager position and we are excited about getting a good person in place, said Commissioner Larry Ogan.
Recreation Director: Commissioners have given the go-ahead for members of the Recreation Board to advertise for a recreation director. The advertisement is on Page 6B of the newspaper. Plans are for the Board to review resumes and handle the interviewing and then make a recommendation to the commissioners, who will have the final vote.
This is also a new full-time position. The county has $45,000 in the budget for the Recreation Department and the board believes this is enough to hire a director and still meet other obligations. Recreation Board Chairman Jan Whitley noted that they will still get some revenue from concession stand sales and fundraisers, and that parents/volunteers are used to working hard to help out the programs for the local youths.
The plan is to hire a recreation director before the end of the year so 2014 can be a fresh start with a director in place.
We (members of the Recreation Board) are not taking our job lightly, said Whitley. We have put a lot of hours of discussion, research, and debate into hiring a director.
The first year will likely see baseball, softball, and tennis as the sports that are offered by the county. Officials are also still hopeful of working something out in the future with the City of Buena Vista to jointly offer other sports, such as football and basketball, or at least to work together in some way with the various sports.
Chief Tax Appraiser: The county is also searching for a new chief tax appraiser after Tom Leanza was let go from the position. They will temporarily contract the position, as it is not one that can go vacant during an employee search.
Water Superintendent: Longtime Water Superintendent Travis Welch recently retired, leaving another important position vacant. Actually, he has agreed to continue to work on a month-to-month basis while a replacement is found, as it is important to have a qualified/certified employee to perform various tests and submit reports to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD).
Other News: The commissioners have an engineer reviewing the water system in hopes of getting advice on adjustments that might be made to reduce the amount of breaks/leaks in water lines, especially in the northern portion of the county. They also recently agreed to look into improving maintenance on a dirt road that local resident Joanne Watson has voiced concerns about. In addition, they recently voted to raise the bond for timber cutting operations from $2,500 to $5,000, and to increase the fine for those who fail to report timber cutting from $500 to $1,000 (and to work harder to enforce the obligation to make the reports).