Oconee County Commissioners, following an executive session of just less than 40 minutes, today (Wednesday) announced that Justin Kirouac, assistant city manager of Johns Creek, is the sole finalist for the position of county administrator.
The Board of Commissioners is expected to take final action on the appointment at its meeting on July 11, according to Commission Chair John Daniell.
Kirouac is to replace Jeff Benko, who announced on Feb. 15 that he wished to retire effective July 1. Benko has said he can be flexible on the final date of employment.
Daniell said the county will enter into contract negotiations with Kirouac “over the next several days.”
Kirouac has worked for the city of Johns Creek, in northeast Fulton County, since 2007 and has been assistant city manager since April of 2015.
Johns Creek first incorporated in 2006 and had a population of 83,873 as of July 1, 2016, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates.
Oconee County's population on July 1, 2016, was estimated at 36,838 by the Census Bureau.
As assistant city manager, Kirouac has responsibilities for strategic planning, departmental oversight, and budget formulation, according to his application materials.
Kirouac previously served Johns Creek as interim community development director, deputy director of community development, and planning and zoning administrator.
Kirouac also has worked for the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners, the Georgia Municipal Association, and the City of Duluth.
He holds a Master's of Public Administration degree from Georgia State University and a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from Grove City College in Grove City, Pa. He graduated from Duluth High School.
The county announced today’s called meeting of the Board of Commissions just before noon yesterday. The stated purpose was to go into executive session to discuss personnel.
I did not attend the meeting, but Daniell told me that it lasted 38 minutes and that the Commission took no formal action when it reconvened in open session.
Daniell said the county received nearly 40 applications, which were reviewed by all five BOC members.
The county interviewed five applicants before deciding on Kerouac, Daniell said.
Benko became county administrative officer on Sept. 1, 2012, replacing retiring administrative officer Alan Theriault.
The title of the position was changed to county administrator earlier this year.
Will be interesting to see what the particulars of the negotiations will be other than salary, since they will usually involve a severance package of some type. Heard from one Commissioner that this guy does not want to move to Oconee County. Don't know what kind of message that sends about his commitment. Would think that this position would demand that he become an integral member of the community and have a vested interest in our success. If he does move here and make the commitment, then I think a severance package (if things don't work out) would be in order. Otherwise, a severance package would be foolish perk to include. Hope the Commissioners detail everything for us to see.
I disagree about the need to be a resident. If the guy is a good administrator then that's what OC needs. His family life should not be subject to public scrutiny as he is not an elected official.
How could he do his best if he doesn't live here? That sounds sort of crazy to me. If Oconee County is not good enough for him to live here, maybe it's not good enough for him to be employed here.
It is crucial that a county manager live in the community.
While competence is of course key, having intimate knowledge of the mood, thoughts, and behavior of its citizens must be taken into consideration.
"Enter into contract negotiations" seems somehow ominous.
Here is another crazy idea... What if Anonymous 12:48 is simply making up this rumor, and you're all believing him/her just because it was posted on Lee's blog? What if nothing of the sort was ever said? Maybe we should all take a deep breath before jumping to irrational conclusions based on anonymous comments.
Lee, you're the professional journalist. Would you publish a story based on unconfirmed, 2nd-hand, anonymous sources?
I do not know what Kirouac's plans are but will ask him about those plans when I interview him on Tuesday.
I do not apply the same standard to comments as I do to my own reporting.
I know it is not a simple issue, but I assume readers differentiate between what I write and what those who leave anonymous or identified comments write.
I also prefer that those who comment use their names.
Sounds like "fake news" to me. Can't believe that the BOC is so inept that they would hire the top appointed official for the County and be someone who isn't willing to work and live amongst us. Surely the BOC isn't that tone-deaf.
Not a big deal. Most living in Oconee don't work here. Right person should not trump homestead. Give the man a chance.
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