In a surprise move tonight, the Oconee County Board of Commissioners appointed Jeff Benko to serve as county administrative officer and Wes Geddings as finance director, effective tomorrow.
Benko currently is serving as finance director, and Geddings is assistant finance director. These are the two most important staff positions in the county, with both the administrative officer and finance director reporting directly to the Board of Commissioners. All department heads except the finance director report to the administrative officer.
Benko replaces Alan Theriault, who took early retirement on July 31. On July 24, the BOC voted to allow Theriault to return to work at 40 percent of normal full-time work schedule following a 30-day retirement separation.
Theriault helped the county on a volunteer basis in August and told me tonight he will serve until the end of the year if needed to help Benko with the transition.
At the July 24 meeting, the BOC also voted to rehire Gina Lindsey, who retired as county clerk, and Steve Hansford, who retired as director of code enforcement, also on a 40 percent basis following the required 30-day separate period.
The county has merged the Code Enforcement Office and the Planning Department, under the direction of B.R. White, director of the Planning Department. Hansford will work as a code enforcement officer.
The BOC has appointed Jane Greathouse as county clerk.
Short Executive Session
The BOC went into a short executive session tonight after the start of the meeting to discuss personnel matters. When it returned, it amended the agenda to include a new item on personnel appointments.
Near the end of the meeting, the BOC made the appointments of Benko and Geddings.
Benko said after the meeting he is ready for the new challenge of the administrative officer position after serving as finance director for eight years.
Benko accepted the invitation of BOC Chairman Melvin Davis to join the commissioners at the front of the room upon his appointment.