Light the Fire under Another Dancing Chicken

Right Man?

At the past county commission meeting, the commissioners voted 4-1 to appoint a new County Administrator.   The office of the County Administrator is the highest level management office of the Hall County government.   If you take a look at other governments and what they are looking for, you might see things like:

Minimum Training and Experience

This position requires a master’s degree in public administration from an accredited university and 10 years of local government experience. Candidates should:

· Be thoroughly familiar with public financial management practices and personnel management procedures;

· Candidates should also have experience with budgets and financial management, intergovernmental relations and organizational development experience;

· Have knowledge of laws, ordinances and structural considerations relating to county government;

· Have the ability to analyze complex problems and develop specific alternative solutions;

· Have strong skills in human relations and communications—including the ability to instruct, motivate and evaluate professional employees; and

· Be able to establish and maintain effective working relationships with county commission, division/department heads and the public.

Let’s see if we can gauge our candidate.

Minimum Training and Experience

This position requires a master’s degree in public administration from an accredited university (He has a master’s degree from the University of Central Florida (check)) and 10 years of local government experience (He has 4 years experience with the county some experience in Florida (TBD)). Candidates should:

· Be thoroughly familiar with public financial management practices and personnel management procedures; He does not appear to have a finance or HR back ground (Strike)

· Candidates should also have experience with budgets and financial management, intergovernmental relations and organizational development experience; He did do some work on outsourcing over that last 6 months, but what did they actually recommend (TBD)

· Have knowledge of laws, ordinances and structural considerations relating to county government; Having not interviewed the candidate, let’s give him a check.

· Have the ability to analyze complex problems and develop specific alternative solutions; Planning does not have this responsibility because it is an implementation of board policy (Strike)

· Have strong skills in human relations and communications—including the ability to instruct, motivate and evaluate professional employees; and (Difficult to say, I believe his department was slashed in the last budget, so he may have not needed to motivate (Stike)

· Be able to establish and maintain effective working relationships with county commission, division/department heads and the public. Once again, light on experience, but appears to be a nice guy (TBD)

It looks to me that there are a lot of unanswered questions and several of the questions that are answered were strikes.  While the entire board agrees that he is a nice guy, two board members did show concern.  Lutz has been quoted as saying, “”I have expressed my concerns in the past that this is not an entry level position. For someone to come in … and be the CEO of the county is a lot of responsibility…  I am concerned that we are looking at a situation like we had before”, while Gibbs said in the meeting, “I will probably vote in favor to hire him if we can come to some agreement with Mr. Connell (the interim administrator) to do some consulting to help us transition into that position.”  Mr. Gibbs did not exactly give a ringing endorsement.

Commissioner Lutz did not want this to be an entry level position.  Commissioner Gibbs wants to spend consulting dollars to train up his appointment.  But the classic endorsement comes from the Times whose headline said, “Knighton seen as natural fit for Hall leadership post”.    Knowing that the Chairman made the endorsement means that it would be natural for the Times to make the second.  But it is the ringing endorsement, or lake thereof, from the current interim administrator that seems curious; “I watched Randy. One of the first people I observed on those videos was Randy,” Connell said. “And there’s something about Randy from day one that stuck out to me and impressed me.”  O.k., so what impressed you?  His demeanor?  His articulation?  It couldn’t have been his financial or H.R. acumen.

Overall, we have a nice guy that may have a tremendous upside.  He may end up being the best thing to ever happen to the county, but at this time, he is an unknown quantity.  Good luck Mr. Knighton; we are praying for your success.

Hugh Hall County Akston

  2 comments for “Light the Fire under Another Dancing Chicken

  1. Slipknot
    July 20, 2011 at 7:41 am

    It would have been impossible to find an experienced outside replacement anyway. The County has nothing to offer in the way of a decent compensation package.

    • Hugh Akston
      July 21, 2011 at 11:15 pm

      You are probably right.

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