Hankerson was one of three finalists for the position.
Cobb Board of Commissioners Chairman Tim Lee said Hankerson contacted Fulton officials on Monday to let them know he was no longer interested in the job.
“Mr. Hankerson just informed me that he has informed the Fulton County Board of Commissioners that he has officially withdrawn his name from consideration of the county manager’s job of Fulton County,” Lee said Tuesday evening. “He just felt that he’s better served here, and he loves Cobb County, and this is where he needs to be. This is his home, so he wants to stay here and finish his career in Cobb.”
Hankerson, 67, who receives a total compensation as manager of Cobb County of $274,007, has been eligible to retire since Dec. 1, 2003. That means he could retire and begin collecting his pension, while being paid the new salary as Fulton County manager, a practice known as “double dipping.”
While Lee said Hankerson withdrew his name because he loves Cobb County, that may not have been the only reason.
Bobbie Battista, spokeswoman for Fulton Board of Commissioners Chairman John Eaves, said Tuesday evening she wasn’t aware that Hankerson had withdrawn his name. She said Hankerson didn’t have the needed votes from the seven-member board to be hired.
“He was the No. 1 pick. It was a matter of votes. Could not get four votes,” Battista said, noting, “I think this kind of in some ways reopens the search a little bit. They have two candidates left, so they’ll discuss those, but I don’t know if there’ll be enough votes. It’s all about votes, so it’s hard to predict.”
Hankerson told the MDJ late Tuesday evening that it was news to him about not having the needed four votes for the job, given that he's primarily communicated through Fulton County’s search firm.
Hankerson said that over the last few weeks he's reflected on where he wants to be and ultimately decided it was to remain where he is. Content with that choice, he left Eaves a message Monday, asking that his name be withdrawn from consideration.
“I’m happy,” Hankerson said.
Lee said he is relieved that Hankerson is remaining in Cobb.
“When people make a decision to move on with their life I’m always encouraged because I encourage people to do that, but it’s a huge void that we would have had to fill,” Lee said. “We got a lot going on. His stability and his knowledge and his experience is good for the county, and I rely on that, so I’m glad to see he’s made a decision to stay with us.”