By DOTTY NIST
In wake of Walton County Administrator Ronnie Bell’s surprise resignation announcement on July 14, District 1 Commissioner Scott Brannon recently proposed immediate actions “to lead Walton County into the future.”
The proposals took place at the July 28 Walton County Board of County Comissioners regular meeting in DeFuniak Springs.
Calling this a “critical and challenging time for our county,” due to current budgetary concerns, compounded with the challenge of moving into a new budget year, Brannon first recommended immediately appointing an interim county administrator to serve until such time as the position could be filled on a permanent basis.
Brannon motioned to appoint current Director of Public Works Lyle Siegler to that interim position, effective the following day, July 29. Siegler has held his current position since 2006 and had previously worked for the state Department of Transportation for a 15-year period.
Bell had set Sept. 30, 2009, as his last day of work, but he noted that he has several weeks of accumulated leave time that he hopes to take during August and September. He was in favor of Siegler immediately taking over his position, with Bell working to assist him until the end of September. He noted that Assistant County Administrator Shirl Williams would also provide valuable assistance during the transition. Williams had declined an offer to fill the interim position.
Brannon’s first motion was approved unanimously, with the understanding that Siegler would bring forth a recommendation as to how his current public works duties would be handled.
Brannon also called for Walton County Human Resources to conduct a study of other local governments’ organizational structures, with specific attention to be placed on administration and the set up of administrative departments.
District 3 Commissioner Larry Jones asked if the purpose of the study would be to see if Walton County’s administrative structure was “the best fit” for the local government. Brannon agreed.
County Commission Chair Sara Comander concurred that a “look at the overall structure of the administrative staff” would be a good idea. She suggested consideration of two assistants for the administrator, not just one.
Brannon’s motion in favor of the study was also approved by unanimous vote.
Dotty Nist may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By DOTTY NIST