Lee board appoints interim Grand Island manager

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

LEESBURG, Ga. -- With Dennis Roland casting the lone opposing vote, Vic McKinley was appointed interim manager of the Grand Island Club during a special called meeting of the Lee County Parks and Recreation Authority on Tuesday evening.

McKinley had served as general manager of the county-owned club for more than six years before retiring in May 2010, but he was called back into service after his successor, Uel Kemp, stepped down under pressure last month.

"I have approached Vic McKinley about coming back as interim general manager, and he has agreed to come back on a long-term basis," Authority and County Commission Chairman Ed Duffy said.

"At present, Vic is working part time at Grand Island, and every full-time employee of the club has indicated to me that they would love to see him return as interim general manager.

"In Vic's last year as manager of Grand Island, the club was able to operate in the black; as a matter of fact Grand Island, has not required a transfer from the general fund in 19 months."

Roland, however, suggested the board look at McKinley's overall record as manager of the club.

"How long was Vic manager before he retired?" Roland asked.

When Duffy said McKinley had served in that capacity for "six or seven years," Roland called into question his early service with the club.

"I know what y'all are going to do, but I'm against Vic in this position," he said. "The club consistently lost $150,000 a year under his leadership before Mr. (Alan) Ours went out there to help run things, and the county's written off as much as a million dollars in debt at the club.

"I may be the lone vote against, but I can't support this move."

Duffy told Roland that McKinley had assured him that the club would not have to "take a penny from the general fund" for the current fiscal year, and the commission chairman lauded Grand Island's fiscal well-being.

"We're not talking about closing Grand Island, Mr. Chairman," the Smithville/Chokee commissioner interrupted. "We're talking about hiring a general manager. Vic's getting a retirement check now, and I'd rather see that job go to someone who needs a full-time job."

Commissioners Rick Muggridge, Betty Johnson and Bill Williams voted to appoint McKinley to the position. Messages left with the new interim club manager seeking comment Tuesday evening were not returned.