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Forsyth County County manager announces retirement

A top Forsyth County official has announced his retirement.

County Manager Doug Derrer announced this week he will retire in April 2017 after almost nine years with Forsyth County and 40 years in public service.

“Serving with the Board of Commissioners, the county staff and this community has been extremely rewarding and has resulted in many successes,” Derrer said in a news release. “The most difficult part of this decision will be leaving behind a well-trained, dedicated and professional staff — a team built for a strong and successful tomorrow.”

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.

“Collaborating with the board and managing a variety of high-level projects are just a few highlights of my tenure with Forsyth County,” Derrer said. “I will take these experiences with me as I explore other opportunities in the public and private sectors.”

Duties of the county manager include working with commissioners to establish long-range goals, supervising administrative offices and senior management, overseeing county programs and interpreting goals and policies to make decisions consistent with the commission.

The process to replace Derrer has not been decided by the county.

Before his time in Forsyth, Derrer worked as 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.

In the announcement, several county commissioners shared their experiences working with Derrer.

“Serving as a commissioner for the past six years and as chairman for four of those, it has been my sincere pleasure to work with Doug. He has the highest of integrity and we simply could not ask for a better county manager,” said Chairman Pete Amos, of District 1.

District 2 Commissioner Brian Tam, the only commissioner who was in office when Derrer was hired, also praised his time in the county.

“He has brought an element of stability to the county government and will, without question, leave the county in considerably better shape than when he found it,” Tam said.

District 4 Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills commended Derrer’s work in both the up and down times the county has faced.

“Doug guided our county through very difficult times during the lean years of the recession and met the challenges we faced by working to cut the budget by more than $20 million,” she said. “He led our county through some of its best times as he oversaw the construction of the new courthouse, jail and parking facilities, and kept the project under budget and paid off after just three years of SPLOST VII collections.

“We appreciate Doug’s stellar leadership and all that he has done for our county, and we wish him well in all his future endeavors.”