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January 28, 2013

Berry accepts interim post

Thomas County resident will assume duties on Monday

MOULTRIE — Thomas County resident Tom Berry has agreed to serve as interim county administrator for Colquitt County, it was announced today.

County Commission Chairman Benny Alderman said he talked with Berry Monday and he has agreed to serve for two months and then would serve 30-day increments if it was needed to extend the job search and transition a new full-time county manager.

“He’s a good man and we’re proud he’s coming,” said Alderman. “He can really help us.”

Alderman said Berry will be on the job Monday. The vote to offer him the interim came a week ago..

“We may be able to find an administrator in two months or it might take longer. Tom knows a lot of people and he may have some ideas along those lines,” said Alderman.

In a 4-3 decision, commissioners voted to extend a six-month contract to  Berry, who served a stint previously as Moultrie’s interim city manager. Commissioners Winfred Giddens, Johnny Hardin, Donna Herndon and Luke Strong voted to approve Berry, with commission Chairman Benny Alderman joined by commissioners Terry Clark and Ray Saunders in opposition.

County Zoning Officer John Peters has been in charge of running county operations until a new administrator is hired. He was hired temporarily as an assitant to County Administrator Bryan Schuler who died of cancer on July 11.

Berry’s contract as interim administrator calls for a contract of $5,000 per month.

Moultrie Mayor Bill McIntosh said Wednesday that Berry, who served as interim between Bob Hopkins and current City Manager Mike Scott, was a good selection.

“Tom Berry is an excellent, capable, knowledgeable, likable fellow who did a great job for the city of Moultrie in an interim position,” McIntosh said during a telephone interview after the meeting. “He just did an excellent job for the city. I could not commend the county any better for making that choice.”

Berry has extensive governmental experience and in recent years has looked to serve on an interim basis, including manager for Thomasville, he said. That experience would be valuable if Berry is tapped to assist in finding a permanent administrator.

“He has some big shoes to fill after Bryan Shuler,” McIntosh said. “He’s just got so much expertise. He has a lot of contacts, a lot of knowledge of people who are in government.”

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