LEESBURG, Ga. -- Lee County Commissioners voted 4-0 Monday afternoon to ask their county attorney to prepare an employment contract for Jack J. Krakeel to be their interim county administrator for the next six months.
Krakeel would be paid $50,000 for the temporary assignment and would begin work March 18. County Administrator Tony Massey will leave March 15 to take a new position as manager of his hometown of Columbia, Tenn. Massey’s salary was $113,000 annually.
“We talked with several incredibly good candidates,’ said Rick Muggridge, Lee Commission chairman. “”We interviewed five candidates and they all were phenomenal.”
Muggridge said Krakeel was rated high by all five county commissioners. Commissioner Luke Singletary was not at the meeting which began at 4 p.m. Monday, but he participated by telephone in an executive session before the hiring was approved.
The executive session lasted 38 minutes. After the closed session ended, county commissioners initially were not going to disclose the financial details of the offer.
“That will be in the contract,” Vice Chairman Dennis Roland said. Commissioners Greg Frich and Ed Duffy agreed, saying details of the contract could change.
When pressed for specifics, Muggridge allowed that the salary is $50,000. What is still to be negotiated is the amount of money to be granted for travel, lodging, other miscellaneous expenses and time off, Muggridge said.
Muggridge said he is impressed with Krakeel’s expertise in the area of emergency management.
“He’s a national expert in fire and emergency medical services delivery,’ said Muggridge. “More than once this board has said it wants to look at how we do those things. We hope Mr. Krakeel, during his six months here, will give us a real good, objective look at the way we deliver those services and give us a strategic plan.”
Muggridge also was impressed with Krakeel’s management of Fayette County in metro Atlanta. Krakeel managed the county government budget of $82 million and the county’s 750 employees.
“He’s been county administrator of a county significantly larger than us, but a county that experienced similar things to Lee County, which is rapid growth,’ said Muggridge. “Also, Fayette is a bedroom community as opposed to an industrial destination. Those things appealed to us.”
Krakeel, 62, retired at the end of 2012 “after working since I was 10 years old,” he said.
He has been doing consulting work in Washington state since his retirement, a role that is expected to end completely by early April.
Krakeel said he looks forward to working with the Lee County board “to share his insights and past experiences and utilize those to help the board move forward with its vision.”
Krakeel said he has a home in Fayette County and has a daughter still in school there. Because of those factors, he said he is not a candidate for the permanent county administrator’s job.