Barrow County’s search for a county manager has come down to two finalists. Both are former managers of county governments in North Georgia, but both were forced out of those positions.
The preferred candidate reportedly is Randall Dowling, who worked for Gordon County’s government until Sept. 20, when he was abruptly fired in a unanimous vote of its board of commissioners and given until 3 p.m. to clear out his office.
Gordon County’s BOC hasn’t explained why Dowling was fired — and Barrow County officials are reportedly preparing to hire him Nov. 26 without asking that question.
After the Barrow Journal requested an interview about Dowling’s termination, Gordon County BOC chairman Becky Hood relayed a message that she would talk only with Barrow County’s BOC chairman. But chairman Pat Graham says she will not make that call.
“The recruitment process is handled by the HR department,” Graham wrote in an email to this newspaper Wednesday morning. “None of the elected officials, including myself, would perform any independent inquiries.”
Graham said she was surprised that Gordon County’s chairman said she would only speak with her.
“If the chairman of Gordon County has a comment to make, it should be made publicly or to our HR department,” she said.
Barrow County HR director Charlie Felts, who is serving as interim county manager until a replacement for former county manager Jock Connell is hired, did contact Gordon County’s HR director last week.
“Mr. Felts called me last Thursday afternoon,” said director Garah Childers. “I called him back Friday morning. He asked some general questions. That was it.”
For the full story, see the Nov. 20 issue of the Barrow Journal.