County closes in on new administrator

Published: Thursday, January 3, 2013 at 03:59 PM.

The preliminary vote is over, and the Board of County Commissioners have chosen their short list of eight from a pool of 48 candidates for county administrator.

The county administrator works closely with county staff to help balance the budget, "standardize essential tasks, organize the workforce for maximum productivity, and improve efficiency," according to the county's website. The annual salary of a county administrator ranges from $84,312 to $144,058. Interim County Administrator Gerry Demers earns $105,545 annually. When former administrator Greg Kisela left, he was making $133,825.

Ted O. Lakey was the top contender with five votes, while Cory Godwin, Steve Howard, and Larry Jones tied for second with four votes each. Demers had three, while George Barwick, Lyndon Bonner, and Robert Halfhill each took two votes.

After the short list was created, the eight contenders became seven when Howard removed his application from consideration.

Each candidate will be interviewed for the position, and a vote will determine who will take the permanent post. The interviews will be held the week of Jan. 14 with commissioners intending to make their selection at the Jan. 22 meeting.

Ted O. Lakey

Lakey's resume boasts more than 27 years in "progressive managerial experience in local and municipal government." The applicant also has a Master of Arts Degree in public administration from the University of West Florida; his undergraduate degree, earned in 1978, is from the University of Alabama with a major in communications and a minor in management and public works. Lakey has been employed since 2003 as the administrator of Jackson County, at the county seat in Marianna. In that position, he has worked with the economic development council to bring in five major companies and nearly 600 new jobs. Notably, he created a Parks and Recreation department, worked to obtain a $10 million low-interest loan for road projects, and negotiated an increase in landfill host fees that brought in $400,000 annually to the county.

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