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BOC to hire interim county manager
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The Newton County Board of Commissioners voted to hire a new interim county manager Tuesday night, deliberately stopping short of placing the county chair in charge of the day to day administration of the county.

The board referred to the county manager candidate as an individual who was recommended by former County Manager Tom Garrett and who apparently already has a working relationship with the county, but did not name him.

Commissioner Levie Maddox said it would be inappropriate to change the form of government by having the new manager answer to the chair instead of the entire board.

Maddox's motion to "complete the employment contract" with the individual in question and for the new manager and the chair to develop an organizational chart together did not address the current vacuum.

When Chairman Keith Ellis sought clarification on the chair's role, after pointing out that he has been the "final decision maker" since Garrett left, Maddox demurred, saying "I don't have that answer."

Maddox then called for the new contract to be completed and signed as soon as possible, possibly Wednesday.

The motion passed 4 to 1, with Commissioner J.C. Henderson objecting.

UPDATE: Harry Owens has been named as the candidate under consideration. Read all about him here