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Harry Owens likely interim county manager
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Newton County revealed the name of the candidate under consideration for the position of interim county manager Friday following the departure of former County Manager Tom Garrett last week.

In a statement, the county described Harry Owens as a "senior human resources management practitioner with over thirty years’ experience managing and directing all aspects of human resources administration."

"Harry has worked in a corporate HR environment in the private sector but for the past twenty-seven years has been a director of human resources in state and local government," it continued. "His experience includes managing recruitment and selection, compensation and classification, benefits, employee relations and conflict resolution, training and development, testing and assessment center administration, payroll and records administration, pension, worker’s compensation and risk management administration."

"Since 1991, he provides instruction in public human resource management through the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government. Mr. Owens holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Auburn University and the IPMA-CP designation from the International Public Management Association for Human Resources."

"He has served as chairperson for the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce’s Human Resources Management Association and as president of the Metro Atlanta Chapter of the International Public Management Association for Human Resources."

Owens' contract will be discussed at the June 2 Board of Commissioners meeting. 

Commissioner Levie Maddox said he fully expects Owens to be confirmed as interim county manager.

Maddox also praised Chairman Keith Ellis for his "county-first" attitude during the transition period, adding that Ellis, along with Garrett, was among those who brought Owens to the county's attention after the former county manager and the chair attended a leadership workshop led by Owens.

Owens has been working on a consultant basis with the Human Resources department for the past several months, and appears to be respected among county employees, Maddox said.

"I think the core team is quite impressed," said Maddox.