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Commissioners preparing for new county manager hiring process
Doug Derrer

Forsyth County took a first step toward replacing a top official this week.

On Monday, Forsyth County commissioners heard a presentation from Dave Wills, government relations manager with the Association County Commissioners of Georgia, or ACCG, to discuss the recruitment and process of replacing County Manager Doug Derrer, who is stepping down from his position in April.

“Probably to frame what I see as the problem and where most people really don’t think it through, is they really don’t give enough thought on the front end before they start,” Wills said.

Wills is a former county commissioner who has worked with ACCG for about eight years and provides technical assistance to counties.

During the discussion, Willis and commissioners discussed factors for the search including whether or not to bring in an outside firm to help with the search, to consider whether to bring internal or external candidates and determining finalists.

Willis also recommended to fully vet candidates before making the decision.

“You just want to make sure you get a candidate that you feel like is qualified, comes with a good reputation and is not going to bring any serious baggage with them,” he said.

The next county manager will likely start 30 to 60 days before Derrer’s departure.

Derrer came to the county in February 2008 as deputy county manager and was selected as interim county manager in September of that year.

In March 2009, he was named county manager.

Before his time in Forsyth, Derrer worked as the public works director and public safety director for the Hall County government, warden of the Hall County Correctional Institution, city manager for Flowery Branch and police officer in Miami-Dade County, Florida.