The power struggle on the Barrow County Board of Commissioners appears to be sabotaging the five-month-old search for the county’s next chief of emergency services.
Two of the six candidates interviewed in late April have withdrawn their applications in the past couple of weeks after becoming soured on the process.
The first was a Newton County deputy chief, who was the top pick of the selection committee comprised not only of local officials, but also of two fire chiefs in the region who volunteered to help Barrow County choose the best candidate.
The second was interim chief John Skinner, who has been running Barrow County Emergency Services for seven months since Chief Mark Melvin quit over staffing and safety issues.
Also caught in the crossfire is Human Resources Director Norma Jean Brown, who didn’t serve on the selection committee, but at the request of the selection committee’s chairman, Billy Parks, extended O’Brien an offer around April 27 or 28 that was contingent on several things, including an interview by the county chairman.