On the Job With Richard Crowdis

Richard Crowdis

Richard Crowdis


NAME: Richard Crowdis

AGE: 62

POSITION: Dougherty County Administrator since October 1998.

FAMILY: Crowdis and his wife, Kathy, and one son, Doug.

EDUCATION: After graduating from Early County High School, Crowdis earned a bachelor of arts degree from Georgia Southwestern State University. He also received a master of public administration degree from Georgia Southern College.

WORK HISTORY: Crowdis also has served as city manager for the cities of Griffin and Brunswick. He served as finance director, personnel director and city clerk for the City of Moultrie. He also was county clerk for the Floyd County Commission.

BACKGROUND: Crowdis is past president of the Georgia City-County Management Association, past president of the Georgia Association of County Managers and Administrators, past president of the Spalding County American Heart Association and past president of the Moultrie Kiwanis Club. He has been awarded membership in National Honor Society for Public Administration by Georgia Southern College.

Q. What was your first job?

A. My first job with a weekly paycheck was working during the summer before my senior year in high school as a laborer for a construction company building the new Early County High School.

Q. What was the first thing you spent money on when you received your first ever paycheck?

A. I probably bought a new baseball glove or some fishing equipment.

Q. What led you to your current position? Why did you want to operate your own business?

A. My wife, Kathy is from Thomasville and I am from Blakely. When former County Administrator Alan Reddish left in July 1998, I applied for the position. We both wanted to get back closer to home and our aging parents.

Q. What is the biggest lesson you as a business leader learned from the recent recession?

A. Local governments have to respond, adjust and adapt to the changing economic times just like private businesses. However, the big difference that is often overlooked by the general public is that where consumer demand for services and products decrease significantly in a recession for the private sector; the public sector sees no decrease for its services and often the demand is increased in a recession.

Q. If you could turn the clock back on one aspect of technology – examples e-mail, automated phone systems, cell phones, PDAs, etc. – what would you most like to see go away?

A. Even though it does have its place and can be effective, I would have to say the automated phone system.

Q. What is your favorite work-related gadget?

A. My Blackberry is extremely effective in keeping me informed and being responsive to others when I am out of the office.

Q. What is your favorite tradition?

A. Growing up in a large family, Christmas was always a big event and remains so today.

Q. What was the last book you read? Do you have things you read daily or regularly?

A. “Extreme Government Makeover” by Ken Miller was my last book. I read The Albany Herald each morning and I try to read the other local weekly newspapers on a regular basis.

Q. I’m up and going by? And what is your morning routine?

A. I am up at 5:30 a.m. each weekday with abut a 30-minute walk in the neighborhood, a quick read of the newspaper headlines, five minutes of stretching exercises, feed the cats and in the office around 7:15 a.m. I seldom eat breakfast.

Q. What famous person would you like to meet and why?

A. I think talking with Thomas Edison, who was one of the most prolific inventors in history and changed the quality of life for billions of people, would be extremely interesting.

Q. Favorite hobbies or activity outside work?

A. Golf and bass fishing.

Q. If you could take back one business decision you made in your career, what would it be?

A. After 37 years in public administration, I have made many mistakes; however, I can’t honestly recall a momentous decision that still haunts me today.

Q. Best thing about your job?

A. I enjoy the diversity of issues and people that I work with on a daily basis as well as those times that you and your staff have facilitated the solution to a citizen’s request or complaint. There is nothing dull or boring about my job.

Q. Worst thing about your job?

A. Making decisions on personnel disciplinary issues is a very serious responsibility of my position. these decisions often impact the livelihood of an employee and his family and for that reason it is always a tough job.

Q. The most beneficial course I took in school was?

A. I am thankful that I took typing as a senior elective in high school.

Q. What would be your dream job if you were able to pick a position outside your current career path?

A. Being a professional golfer on the PGA circuit.

Q. Finish this thought; “on the first anniversary of my retirement, I see myself…

A. Playing golf, going on a fishing trip or possibly mowing the yard.

Q. What is the one trait a strong business leader cannot afford to be without?

A. An unwavering standard of high ethical behavior.

Q. Crystal ball time: What’s your call on when the economic recovery for our area will be in full swing?

A. I sincerely hope that we can come back to a full economic recovery, but I think it will be a few more years.

Q. What kind of music might I find on your list of most played on your iPod?

A. I don’t have or need an iPod. I enjoy listening to Golden Oldies on 93.9 FM in my car, but I listen to country music on 100.3 FM when I ride in my wife’s car.

Q. What do you think is the biggest change Albany will see in the next 10 years?

A. Regional collaboration with other area jurisdictions on various issues of transportation, environmental concerns, emergency response, economic development, purchasing and other cooperative services will be much more common place and expected in the next decade.

Q. What was the best vacation you’ve ever taken? Why?

A. It would have to be the snow skiing trip with my friends in the Colorado mountains many years ago. Just about everything we did was new and different. The scenery was spectacular.

Q. What are the biggest changes you have seen in your specific line of business over the past few years?

A. Unfortunately, the recession and its continuing effects have dominated the local government sector over the past several years. The reduction in budgets, salaries, personnel, operating costs, training, services and benefits are now common place and entrenched. “Doing more for less” is easy to say, but it extremely difficult to successfully implement.