Justin Kirouac, currently assistant manager in Johns Creek, said he was not looking for jobs generally when he applied for the position of county administrator in Oconee County.
He said he was looking for the “right opportunity, the right fit,” and he “targeted” Oconee County when the job was advertised because of the “real opportunity” the job provided.
Negotiations are underway to bring Kirouac aboard by the end of July, when current County Administrator Jeff Benko will retire
At the Commission meeting tonight Daniell announced the resignation of Oconee County Parks and Recreation Department Head John Gentry, providing Kirouac and the county a leadership challenge that will have to be dealt with rather quickly.
Earlier in the day, Daniell introduced Kirouac to Michael Prochaska, editor of The Oconee Enterprise, Lee Shearer, reporter for the Athens Banner Herald, and me at a meeting in the Commission Chamber of the Courthouse in Watkinsville.
Daniell and Benko sat in on the session.
Kirouac stressed at several points during the news conference his background in planning and the insights he will bring to the county as a result.
Kirouac also talked about his approach to leadership and his views of citizens.
He said listening is key to leadership and understanding that government “is a service organization” is crucial to working with citizens.
Kirouac, 41, lives in Lawrenceville, and he said he won’t be moving to Oconee County initially because of family concerns.
He has a 10-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old son and doesn’t want to force them to move from their middle school and high school settings.
“I will be ingrained as part of the community, but I’m not planning on moving right now."
He thanked the Commission members for understanding his desire not to disrupt his family.
Development A Challenge And Opportunity
Kirouac said development was the biggest challenge for Oconee County but also the biggest opportunity.
“I view Oconee County as really at a crossroads,” he said.
“We would be foolish to not be highly selective in how it is we want to develop,” he said. “Just because somebody wants to develop a piece of property–there has to be what I would call the Oconee Standard.”
Kirouac said the work underway on the Comprehensive Plan for the county will be instrumental in determining how the county develops in the future.
I video recorded the 50-minute session with Kirouac.
He made a few introductory comments and then took questions.
Kirouac talked about both personal and professional topics and shared some of his experiences during his day-long visit to the county.
The session is unedited below.