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New official to handle finances
County makes tentative offer
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Forsyth County News

Other action

Also on Thursday, the Forsyth County commission:

• Approved an amendment to Deputy County Manager Tim Merritt's employment agreement. The change will allow Merritt to accrue and use 180 hours of compensatory time, awarded at time-and-a-half for each overtime hour worked, for time off during employment. Once his employment ends, he may cash in up to 120 hours of compensatory time for payment of actual hours worked. Merritt has been a county employee since April.

• Adjusted two residents' high water leakage bills caused by burst outdoor pipes. The county lowered the bills to reflect water use in the first tier of the county's tiered rates. Chairman Charles Laughinghouse voted against one of the two due to other water issues the county plans to investigate. Commissioners intend to change the county's policy, which likely will be discussed Tuesday.

• Authorized a contract with Southern Health Partners to provide medical services for jail inmates on a short-term emergency basis. The county's previous provider, whose contract was set to expire this year, went out of business last week.

Note: All votes were 4-0, with Commissioner Brian Tam absent, unless otherwise noted.

-- Alyssa LaRenzie

Forsyth County may have found someone to lead the finance department.

The county commission voted 4-0, with Commissioner Brian Tam absent, to approve an employment agreement for a director of finance/controller.

According to the job description, that person will serve as the head of the finance department, commercial services and risk management division, as well as provide financial leadership and expertise to county officials.

County Manager Doug Derrer is in charge of appointing the position, which falls under his direction. Citing the economy, he said it is a "critical time to fill" it.

The job description states that the chief financial officer would be the supervisor of the director of finance/controller, but that position has been vacant since Bill Thomas resigned April 2.

Derrer and Deputy County Manager Tim Merritt have absorbed the chief financial officer's duties since Thomas' departure.

"As the county has been without a CFO for some time now, it was imperative we move forward with filling this position to bring focus and stability to that department," Derrer said.

The current contract includes a tentative job offer to David F. Maxwell, who would start Sept. 15, if approved by all parties.

Since it is only an offer, Derrer could not release any details about Maxwell's background, other than to say he has the "experience necessary to be successful."

The base salary for the post would be $98,000, according to the agreement, and it does not fall under civil service protection.

Chairman Charles Laughinghouse viewed the post as a necessary expense for the county as it tackles a tight 2011 budget.

"Hopefully, this person will ... be very helpful to Doug and Tim and the rest of the staff in getting the budget preparations finalized," he said.

The position was created several months ago, county spokeswoman Jodi Gardner said.

The new hire will replace Jamie Payne, who has been serving as interim director of finance. Her new title or position has not been determined, Derrer said.