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Lee County names single finalist for county manager

Ron Rabun, of Griffin, has been named the lone finalist for the vacant Lee County manager position. The County Commission made the designation Monday evening following a closed session of the board. (Staff photo: Carlton Fletcher)

Ron Rabun, of Griffin, has been named the lone finalist for the vacant Lee County manager position. The County Commission made the designation Monday evening following a closed session of the board. (Staff photo: Carlton Fletcher)

LEESBURG — Following a closed meeting Monday afternoon, the Lee County Commission named a single finalist for its vacant county manager position.

The board voted 5-0 in executive session to extend an offer to Ron Rabun, a consultant who now resides in Griffin. The commission made the announcement after the closed session ended.

Rabun, 63, who was in Leesburg for the meeting, said he was excited about the appointment. “I think there’s really opportunity for growth potential,” he said. “This is not just my vocation. It is my avocation.”

Despite the fact that 33 people applied for the position, the commission failed to name three finalists as required under Georgia’s Open Records Law. Commission Chairman Rick Muggridge said the board “looked very hard” at nine applicants, after which three withdrew their names from consideration. The commission revised the list to six and eliminated everyone except Rabun.

“The Carl Vinson Institute did most of the vetting,” Muggridge said.

The commission will wait 14 days before finalizing the deal, he said.

Rabun has served as a consultant in Griffin since spending five years as a U.S. adviser in Iraq and Afghanistan. He served four years in the U.S. Navy, followed by seven years in the Navy Reserves.

Asked what attracted him to Lee County — he also was a finalist for the recent Leesburg city manager job — Rabun cited three things.

“One, they have a quality board of directors,” he said. “Two, they have quality staff that provide excellent service. Three, they’ve got a little bit of money in reserves, so it’s not working hand to mouth.”

Rabun said the county has “a lot of good things going here,” including the school system, fire protection, emergency medical services and budget.

Rabun started his career as an administrative assistant to the city manager in Camilla in 1978, becoming city manager of that city in 1979. He’s also served as county administrator in Henry County, Ga.; Manatee County, Fla., and Oconee County, S.C., and as city manager in Clearwater, Fla.; Richland, Wash.; Griffin and Avondale Estates, both in Georgia.