Ousted commissioners still bear decision of hiring finance director

By Thomas Wilson

   Three members of Carter County's Financial Management Committee (FMC) will take part in selecting the county's first-ever finance director who is expected to be hired later this month.
   They will then exit stage left.
   County commissioners and FMC members Adeline Hyder, R.L. Miller and Harry Sisk were all defeated in their re-election bids in Thursday's county election, according to unofficial voting results.
   The full county commission voted to appoint the four to the committee in June despite warnings from a handful commissioners to postpone the decision until after the election.
   Still, the lone county commissioner who won re-election doesn't believe the lame-duck status will negatively affect the hiring process.
   "I don't see any problem with it," said FMC Chairwoman JoAnn Blankenship, the only committee member re-elected to the commission. "The committee can dismiss the person, but it is subject to the approval of the full commission.
   "According to state law, they (the commission) voted for us to go forward and accept this 1981 law. That is what we are going to do, go forward."
   The seven-member committee is comprised of the county executive, county schools Superintendent Dallas Williams, Superintendent of Roads Jack Perkins, and the four commissioners.
   The new commission will select three new members to fill the vacancies of Hyder, Miller and Sisk.
   "My term doesn't end until Sept. 1," Hyder told the STAR Saturday. "When they meet on September 9, the commission would vote in a new committee, and the finance director would answer to that committee."
   Committee members voted last week to pare down a dozen candidates to five finalists for the position.
   Blankenship said the committee letters notifying the five finalists selected to be interviewed for the finance director's position had been mailed.
   The committee is scheduled to begin interviewing candidates on Aug. 12.
   Under the supervision of the Financial Management Committee, the county director will oversee the finance department's operation including payroll, purchasing, financing, accounting and a financial management system.
   The director will oversee the finance department's operation administering all funds handled by the county trustee.
   The committee had projected hiring a financial director by late August.
   Blankenship also said sitting County Executive Truman Clark had advised her the county executive-elect would be involved with interviewing candidates.
   Blankenship said she had notified county executive-elect Dale Fair and he had told her he would review resumes submitted by candidates to prepare for his new public office.
   She also reiterated the committee would adhere to state law governing selection of the finance director.
   "I am a stickler for how thing things are written under the law," said Blankenship.