Members of the Long County Commission voted 3-2 Tuesday to hire a county administrator and signed a resolution that could lead to stagger terms of commissioners beginning in 2022.
State lawmakers will still have to approve the plan to stagger terms, but that’s likely a mere formality.
Chairman Mike Riddle called the measure a way to ensure "Long County will always have continuity of leadership … never a massive turnover on the board."
It’s unclear when the county will hire an administrator, but the approval means commissioners can begin the search. Riddle campaigned on the issue, saying that Long County needs a full-time person with a background in government who can run the day to day operations of government while also working with state and federal officials.
Riddle, Clifton Deloach, and Willie Thompson voted to add the position. David Richardson and Bobby Walker voted no.
"I’m feeling very optimistic about our county’s future," Riddle said, adding that he would not rush hiring anyone
"I also am pleased that we were able to approve going ahead and hiring a county administrator," the chairman said. "Though two of our commissioners voted against this, both said that they were in favor of hiring one, just not now because of their concerns about our finances, which I understand and respect. I will be the first to admit that our finances are very tight. But I believe that once we get a county administrator on board, if anything he will have the knowledge to help us save money, and the time to help us find more money."
Commissioners also have advertised on the County website for a finance director, with a cutoff of Feb. 17 for applications.
The county is one of the fastest-growing in the nation.
Commissioners also moved their regularly monthly meeting times from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. on the first Tuesday of each month.