The Jackson County Commissioners met in special session Monday to lay out the plans for the search for a new county administrator. Commission Chairman Eric Hill stated the Commission did not want to put in an interim and would be expediting the process to insure a smooth transition.
Administrator Ernie Padgett requested to read his resignation letter into the record and permission was given by Chairman Hill.
Padgett stated, “And I will tell you, there was a newspaper article that came out Saturday and it was a strange one but that’s all right. For some reason they wanted to major on where I had been and how much money I made over the last 30 years. And I couldn’t make the connection. This letter was directed to all the commissioners.” The letter stated “Please accept this as my notice of resignation, effective January 17, 2018. Medical concerns require this decision. Some of you are aware that I had heart bypass surgery (5 bypasses) four years ago. I just found out recently that a problem may have reoccurred. I’ll be on a heart monitor for the next four weeks. Thank you to the Jackson County Commission for allowing me to be County Administrator for this past year. Our county has many dedicated employees who serve the county with a high degree of professionalism.”
A time frame was discussed with Chairman Hill suggesting the advertisements be placed this week, reviewed and ready for review by the Commissioners in January. Commissioner Chuck Lockey expressed his concern that with the approaching holidays, he felt that was not sufficient time for potential candidates for the job to prepare their resumes and get them in for consideration. Commissioner Jim Peacock was concerned about the salary listed in that there may be a dynamite administrator out there for $75,000 a year, rather than requiring the $90,000-$125,000 range. After a lengthy discussion, it was decided the job would be advertised with the salary range listed, applications taken through January with interviews in early February. The Commission is in hopes of a candidate being selected at the February 27 meeting.
In an interview following the meeting, Padgett spoke with this reporter, “You did get a copy of my letter because some quotes were made in the other paper that didn’t come from me. I don’t know where they came from.” The TIMES has printed Mr. Padgett’s letter above as it was given to the county commissioners last Thursday. The publisher and staff of the TIMES wishes Mr. Padgett all the best and thanks him for his service this past year.