January 22, 2014 10:29:37 AM
Five applicants, including Oktibbeha County's current comptroller and Starkville's former chief administrative officer, will move forward into the next phase of the county's search for a new administrator.
Supervisors narrowed the 30-plus candidate pool to five finalists Tuesday after discussing the matter in executive session. The applicants chosen as finalists are: Oktibbeha County Comptroller Emily Garrard, Union County Administrator Terry Johnson, former Starkville Chief Administrative Officer Lynn Spruill, Adcare Healthcare Regional Vice President John Thomas and Ivory Williams, Jackson's former deputy housing and community development director.
The board did not set interview dates, but supervisors previously told The Dispatch the process to fill former County Administrator Don Posey's position would last through February. District 1 Supervisor John Montgomery said background checks must be completed before the board moves toward a hire.
The position became vacant when Posey retired in December, taking with him almost 20 years of institutional knowledge and leadership. The board has absorbed many of his primary job functions and will tend to those throughout the vacancy, District 2 Supervisor Orlando Trainer previously said.
"There's no time frame, but we understand that we need to move along at a pretty good pace and not drag this out," Trainer said.
Garrard has served as the county's comptroller since 2002. She earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Mississippi State University.
Johnson became Union County's administrator and inventory clerk in 1999 after working 16 years with the Mississippi State Auditor's Office. He holds an accounting degree from the University of Mississippi.
Spruill held Starkville's highest appointed management position from 2005 until she was relieved by the board of aldermen in July. She holds a law degree and a master's degree in public administration from Georgia State University.
Thomas currently serves in his role as a regional manager for the health care system.
Williams' previous job functions included managing and administering Jackson's external funding.
Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch
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