New Long County Administrator Frank Etheridge started work June 20.
Etheridge joins the county having more than 20 years of experience in local government.
“It is nice to be back in the coastal region and near family, I look forward to working with both elected officials and staff as Long County continues to grow, to ensure we are focusing on appropriate issues to support the community. Being the new county administrator will be a challenge as the county changes the way daily operations are addressed and managed,” Etheridge said.
Etheridge’s experience includes time spent as county manager in Randolph and Marion counties, city manager in LaFayette, city administrator in Pembroke, planning manager in Jackson County, building and planning director in Habersham County, and county administrator in Twiggs County.
He has a master’s degree in public administration from Troy University and a bachelor of arts degree in geography from the University of Georgia.
Etheridge is a veteran of the U.S. Airforce where he attained the rank of captain.
Long County Chairman Mike Riddle said he believes Etheridge is just what Long County needs to help it move toward progress and prosperity.
“You can have the nicest ship on the ocean, but you need a captain at the helm of that vessel for it to sail as efficiently as it can,” Riddle said. “That’s what Long County has needed in its leadership. We part-time chairmen have did the best that we could, and we did OK when there were only 10,000 people in our community, but we’re not that county any more, and now we need a full-time professional, and that’s what we have in Frank.”
Riddle said with the addition of Etheridge, he feels that the board of commissioners staffing is pretty close to where it needs to be to operate at its best.
“Long County has been moving in the right direction for several years, this board has made some changes in departmental leadership, we’ve added a qualified finance director, and now we’ve added an administrator,” Riddle said. “I believe Frank is going to be that one missing piece of the puzzle that we have needed to help us move towards being the county we have the potential to be.”