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County manager to get pay raise
Board lauds stability official has brought
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Forsyth County News


Forsyth County's manager has been tapped for a raise.

County commissioners voted 5-0 to increase Doug Derrer's salary to $158,757 from $130,000, or about a 22 percent increase.

He will also receive a higher yearly auto allowance of $7,211, up from $6,000.

When Derrer was hired as county manager in 2009, his contract specified that the county would undertake a wage and salary survey.

However, he and the commissioners agreed to postpone it due to the economic conditions, said County Attorney Ken Jarrard.

"This is something that the county is about two years overdue," Jarrard told the commission Tuesday.

The study, which was conducted this year, compared the county manager pay and benefits in Forsyth to those in nine other similar local governments.

The county arrived on Derrer's pay raise by taking the average of the salaries, which ranged from $115,000 in Henry County to $273,000 in Cobb County.

Commissioner Todd Levent noted that Derrer had more years of government experience, at 20, than the average of other county managers included in the survey, which was 13.7.

Chairman Brian Tam said Derrer's performance on the job merited the increase.

"I think it's worth pointing out that this is the most stability we've had in this position going back to prior to 2004," Tam said. "I think the stability in the position has helped the county weather these tough economic times."

The post experienced much turnover during those years.

Derrer, a Hall County government retiree, joined Forsyth as deputy county manager in January 2008.

That September, he was elevated to interim county manager after Rhonda Poston-O'Connor was fired as county manager.

Commissioners named him county manager in March 2009 at the same salary as his interim post, $130,000 per year.

A new deputy county manager did not come on board until April 2010, which was about the same time the county' chief financial officer resigned.

The CFO position was not filled until November 2010, with the hiring of the director of finance/controller.

Tam noted that Derrer filled those roles during the gaps and made some "positive hires" to those positions.

Commissioners did not address how to pay for the salary increase during the Tuesday work session.

The raise was not included or foreseen in the 2011 budget, said David Gruen, the county's finance director.

Staff will review the county manager's department budget to determine where the money will come from, Gruen said.