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Lee offers county manager's job to lone finalist

Ron Rabun is expected to start as Lee County’s county manager on Tuesday. (Special photo)

Ron Rabun is expected to start as Lee County’s county manager on Tuesday. (Special photo)

LEESBURG — Twenty-five years after beginning his career as a government administrator, Ron Rabun is returning to Southwest Georgia.

Rabun was offered the $95,000-a-year job as county manager Monday afternoon by a 4-0 vote of the Lee County Commission. Rabun, 63, is expected to begin his new duties Tuesday.

Rabun was a finalist when the Leesburg City Council was searching for its first city manager. That job has been offered to Bob Alexander, Lee County’s director of planning and engineering. Alexander is expected to take the Leesburg job when some details of his contract are finalized, including his salary.

Rabun was an administrative assistant to the city manager in Camilla in 1978 before becoming city manager a year later. He’s also served as county administrator in Henry County, Ga., Manatee County, Fla. and Oconee County, S.C., as well as city manager in Clearwater, Fla.; Richland, Wash., and Griffin and Avondale Estate, both in Georgia.

Most recently, Rabun was a consultant for the city of Griffin after serving five years as an adviser in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Commissioner Greg Frich was out of town Monday, leaving the remaining four commissioners to make the decision. Commissioners said the hiring was to be effective Tuesday, with Rabun attending a conference in Athens. His first day at work in his Leesburg office is set for Wednesday.

Dennis Roland, vice chairman of the commission, said he decided to support Rabun because of his track record in Henry County of landing new industry. “I think we have room for much more commercial and industrial growth,” Roland said, “and I believe he’s the right person to work with (Lee County Chamber of Commerce Director Winston) Oxford.”

Commissioner Luke Singletary said Rabun stood out among the candidates because of his “overall experience,” while Commissioner Ed Duffy said he liked Rabun’s “variety of experiences.”

“He’s worked for governments both large and small and is knowledgable about all aspects of running a county,” Duffy said.

In addition to his $95,000 annual salary, Rabun will receive a $600 a month auto allowance in lieu of mileage unless he travels at least 50 miles outside the county. He will also be provided dues for membership at one civic club, a cell phone and a laptop computer.

During his 180-day probation period, Rabun will receive a monthly $1,200 housing allowance from the county, with the stipulation that he relocate to Lee County by the end of that probation period.