Walton reopens search for new county administrator after commissioners reject 12 candidates

Please use the SHARE buttons to forward this news

Walton County commissioners are reopening the search for a new county administrator, indicating they were unhappy with the 12 candidates already recommended by the executive search firm hired to find someone to lead the county government. The Walton County administrator currently oversees 460 full-time employees and 50 part-time or seasonal employees, and manages a $239 million budget.

Commissioners took the action at their Tuesday meeting with at least one of them denying the move was made because commissioners had not seen an application from some unnamed party that they may want to put into the position.

Background:Walton administrator stepping down; commissioners ironing out succession plan

From earlier this year:‘You won’t understand’: Walton chairman says public should just trust commissioners

“It’s not my goal to open the door to new candidates,” said Commissioner William “Boots” McCormick. “This ain’t like there’s somebody out there that didn’t put in an application that I wanted to get a chance at this (job).”

McCormick’s assertion came after Barbara Morano, a south Walton County resident who is a frequent presence at commission meetings, asked point-blank whether the commission was moving to reopen the search “because someone never put their application in to begin with?”

The commission retained GovHR USA, a Northbrook, Illinois-based governmental executive search firm, earlier this year as former county administrator Larry Jones was stepping away from the post. Jones formally left the position on April 1, after taking a few months of medical leave to deal with serious health concerns.

Jones announced in December, as he was preparing for his medical leave, that he was delegating his authority to then-deputy county administrator Dede Hinote. In February, commissioners appointed Tony Cornman, director of the county’s code enforcement office, as interim county administrator, and in March, Hinote was fired by commissioners for apparently not being completely truthful about her personal use of a county credit card, even though charges made on the card were reimbursed to the county.

Walton County commissioners have reopened a search for a new county administrator after indicating they weren't satisfied with the top 12 recommendations of a governmental executive search firm.

Commissioners’ unanimous Tuesday decision to fully reopen the search with GovHR USA came after interim county counsel Clayton Adkinson warned them that going outside of the top 12 candidates listed by the firm, as some commissioners indicated they wanted to do, could subject them to legal difficulties.

“It would raise questions about the process” of selecting a new county administrator, Adkinson warned commissioners. If, for instance, commissioners decided they wanted to bypass the GovHR list entirely, or talk to the search firm’s 20th-ranked candidate about the job, and it was discovered that they had bypassed higher-ranked candidates, those candidates could legitimately ask, “Why did you do that?” Adkinson explained.

Be the first to comment on "Walton reopens search for new county administrator after commissioners reject 12 candidates"

Leave a comment