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Owens resigns as Interim County Manager
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Just as Newton County’s Director of Human Resources sent notices to the media on Tuesday, Dec. 22 that the Board of Commissioners (BOC) may vote on the hiring of a new county manager at the Jan. 5 meeting, Interim County Manager Harry Owens submitted his letter of resignation.

In the letter, Owens stated his resignation was effective that day, Dec. 22.

“In all of my endeavors with Newton County, I have remained steadfastly focused on what I believe to be the right thing to do in the given set of circumstances,” he wrote. “What was right for the governing authority, what was right for the County Management Team and County employees, what was right for the taxpaying citizens of Newton County, and, ultimately, what was right from the standpoint of my own personal and professional integrity.”

“I hope I helped contribute to that,” he said.

In a separate interview, Owens told The News, “I have found the citizens of Newton County to be exceptional people. They’re wonderful and hungry for someone to do the right thing."

Both in the letter and interview, Owens also stressed the excellence of the county’s management team. “Both deserve the support and trust of their governing authority and their [new] County Manager in continuing to move the County forward. I look forward to hearing of your continued success.”

According to his letter, contractually, Owens' agreement with the county expired on Dec. 18. However, at the request of the Board of Commissioners, Owens agreed to stay until or before the end of January 2016.

“I have now arrived at the conclusion that it is time for me to enter the ranks of the more fully-retired,” he wrote.

Owens began working with the county as a human resources consultant but, in early June, took on the position of Interim County Manager after Tom Garrett resigned in April 2015.