Cobb settles on salaries for new directors
by Jon Gillooly
January 29, 2013 01:29 AM | 3875 views | 7 7 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jack Forsythe
Jack Forsythe
slideshow
Jackie McMorris
Jackie McMorris
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MARIETTA — County Manager David Hankerson has agreed on the salary amounts for Cobb’s new public safety and public services directors.

The county also plans to start advertising this week for a new county attorney to fill the slot vacated by Dorothy Bishop, who retired on Dec. 31 after serving in the role for 19 years.

New public safety director Jack Forsythe will be paid $137,500, while new public services agency director Jackie McMorris will be paid $130,000, county spokesman Robert Quigley said.

County Chairman Tim Lee said the salaries are in line with what was paid to their predecessors.

“We’ve got two talented folks at reasonable investments,” Lee said.

The Board of Commissioners authorized Hankerson to begin negotiating the salaries for the two new hires earlier this month.

Forsythe was hired to replace former public safety director Mickey Lloyd, who resigned in July 2010 after he was accused of embellishing his military career.

The county’s fire chief, Sam Heaton, stepped in to serve as the interim director. Heaton also applied for the permanent job, as did 911 director Tony Wheeler.

Forsythe is in charge of the 710 employees in the Cobb Police Department, the 683 employees in the Cobb Fire Department, the 125 employees in the county’s 911 unit and the 53 staff members in the animal-control unit.

He previously served in executive roles with NASA and FEMA/Homeland Security.

The public services director, now held by McMorris, oversees five departments: elections; parks and recreation; libraries; senior services; and extension services. That position became vacant when Bob Ash retired in 2010.

McMorris previously worked as the former chief of staff of the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office.

Lee said the slot was deliberately left open while the Citizen Oversight Committee was conducting its review of the county government.

“The Citizen Oversight Committee found that we had too many direct reports to the county manager’s office, causing him to be not as effective as he could be, to be more reactive than proactive, and they recommended that be addressed through the reappointment of the two agency directors,” Lee said.

As for the county attorney position, Lee said he hopes to have a new one hired by the Board of Commissioners in the next 90 days. Lee said he and Hankerson will form a committee in the next few weeks to review applications and bring forth a recommendation.

“I will use the strength and wisdom and intuitiveness of the county manager’s office to assist in that hire,” he said.

While Bishop was paid a salary of $156,165 as county attorney, Quigley said there is no defined salary range or starting salary for the position.
Comments
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Uncle Jessie
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January 29, 2013
Lee could have just driven down power spring road and got

two people just as good for a lot less money!! You just can't find any better than Hankerson!!!
anonymous
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January 29, 2013
Why do we now have a full-time Commission Chair (Tim Lee) AND a full-time County Manger (David Hankerson)??? Hankerson was promoted to the position of County Manager at a time when ALL the commissioners -- including the Commission Chair -- were part-time employees. We could save about $200,000 in his salary, plus his benefits, expenses, etc.

Sam Olens allowed Hankerson to stay when his then-Commision-Chair position was made full time. It's time to get more from our county "leaders" than the fat tabs to pay their salaries!!!
I agree
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January 29, 2013
Sam Heaton is a good man and would do a fine job. But if he was hired there be another string of ninnies crying that it's a good ole boy network and that they should have brought in some new blood. Either way, somebody complains!
Retired CCPD
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January 29, 2013
Sam Heaton should have been selected as the public safety director because he was respected by all police and fire personnel and he was interested in the employees and their service to the public. I retired long before he took over but I've heard so many good comments from the rank and file still there. It would have been a better deal for everyone.

As far as Hankerson goes - he is the stopper in the flow of information the commissioners get and a reflection of the person who hired him - Bill Byrne.
Just Sayin'....
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January 29, 2013
More than one direct report might be too much for Hankerson to handle.
I'm just sayin' too
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January 29, 2013
What an idiotic comment! Hankerson is one of the most successful county managers in the metro area. So much so that other counties continually try to have him switch jobs.

We are lucky in Cobb to have him!

It's so easy to criticize others from the computer in the basement!

Just Sayin'....
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January 29, 2013
Oh go drink the kool-aid. If they were seriosuly courting him, he would have gone by now. Collect a new salary and add that to his Cobb retirement, he would be insane to refuse. What no one wants to admit is that the ones who stay have no other place to go.
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