Long County Administrator Frank Etheridge resigned Wednesday; his resignation followed a closed session of the county commissioners Tuesday evening after which no personnel decisions were announced.
Commission Chairman Robert Parker said Thursday that he expected the county would hire a part time employee for handling grants, special projects or other specified duties but not engage another fulltime administrator. Parker said he planned to do much of the day-to-day management.
“The county has done it both ways – with an administrator and without –and what we had was not working,” Parker said. Long County is believed to have had three administrators before Etheridge.
Etheridge said he had no public comment except to say that he served at the pleasure of the commissioners and they had wanted him to leave.
Etheridge was hired by a 3-0 vote of the commission in May 2017.
The Long County then-Commission Chairman Mike Riddle and Commissioners Clifton DeLoach and Willie Thomson voted in favor of Etheridge. Commissioner David Richardson abstained and Commissioner Bobby Walker was not at the 2017 meeting. Walker and Thomson have since left the commission.
Etheridge earned a yearly salary of $61,000. Per an agreement with the county, he will receive severance pay for three months. Long County has a population of 19,014, according to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
In contrast, Bryan County’s administrator earned a starting salary of $95,000 in 2018, according to DCA’s wage and salary survey. Bryan County has a population of 37,060. Liberty County’s administrator earned $78.29 an hour in 2018, according to the DCA survey. Liberty County has a population of 61,386.
Etheridge previously served as Pembroke city administrator and in Glynn County as a planning manager.
He was county administrator of Twiggs County. He’s also served as a planning director.
Etheridge has a master’s degree in public administration from Troy University and a Bachelor of Arts in geography from the University of Georgia. He is credentialed by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and has professional memberships in the Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) and the Georgia City-County Management Association (GCCMA).
Joe Parker Jr. can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.