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Commissioners select Sanders as Chief of Staff
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IN BRIEF: The Board of Commissioners selected Gerald Sanders in a unanimous vote as the new chief of staff, after a 20 minute executive session. 

Commissioner JaNice Van Ness said, "After interviewing the two candidates I'm going to support your recommendation in an effort ot support you in your day to day operations of the county. I hope this will be move the county forward in a positive way...
Hopefully we will make some strides... and gain more efficiency in our government."

Chairman Richard Oden said, "Thank you commissioners for your support."

Sanders said a few brief words thanking the staff and HR staff for their work. "I'm pleased to be here and excited about doing some good work," he said.

One of the main concerns of the two part-time commissioners was the issue of communication.

Commissioner Oz Nesbitt said later, "I get a positive vibe that (Sanders) will do a good job with communication." Many of the conflicts in the past were at the root communication breakdowns or dearth of information, he said. "When there's a big ticket item, all three of us have to be aware of it." He added that he was not concerned with getting involved with the day to day operations, but in the past when there has been a breakdown in communication within county staff is when the issue begins spilling over to the Post I and Post II commissioners.




The Board of Commissioners went into executive session during their regular meeting to discuss personnel after delaying a vote on selecting a new chief of staff for the county.

The two finalists are:

Simone Peart

• Founding Director of Operations – ROADS Charter School, New York

• Assistant Chief of Staff and Director of General Services, Administration – NYC Dept. of Consumer Affairs

• Special Projects Coordinator, Administration/Operations – North Star Academy, Charter School of Newark

• BA, Univ. of Maryland – College Park; J.D., Univ. of Connecticut School of Law 


Gerald Sanders

• City Manager – City of Lithonia, GA

• Director of Business & Economic Development – City of East Point, GA

• Managing Director, Economic Development – CEO’s Office, DeKalb County Government

• Senior Manager, Program Audits – Private Industry Council, Atlanta

• Assistant County Manager – Fulton County Manager’s Office

• Deputy Chief of Staff – Fulton County Board of Commissioners

• Masters in Business Administration and Masters in Public Administration, Georgia State University


There were 101 total applicants.

The interview panel of experts consisted of Hakim Hillard, Chief of Staff - DeKalb County, Kevin Little, Chairman –Walton County, and Becky Heisten, HR Director - Newton County.

Sanders scored a total of 271.66 on the evaluation rating and Peart a total of 284. The salary range for this position is $57,219 – $91,351.