Walton County BOC Chairman looks to cut his paycheck to almost a quarter of its current rate

WALTON COUNTY, GA (Oct. 5, 2022) At Tuesday’s Walton County Board of Commissioners meeting, Chairman David Thompson asked that the BOC members consider cutting the chairman’s salary from its current $99,000 a year to $25,000 and that the position be made part-time. This request is in light of the fact that the county now has a county manager who runs the day-to-day operations of Walton County. John Amos Ward, III was hired as county manager in April of this year, also after prompting from Thompson who said he doesn’t believe the chairman of the BOC should be involved in the day-to-day operations.

“I think it’s proper an elected official should not be running the day-to-day operations of the county. That is a bureaucratic job,” Thompson said. He went on to explain that the enabling legislation at the state legislature for Walton County also furnishes a vehicle for the board chairman. However, Thompson uses his own vehicle and gets reimbursed for mileage used for county business. He suggested that also be included in changes to the county ordinances concerning the position of the board chairman.

“The county manager position is $180,000 for the job plus benefits and this would be in turn he handles the day-to-day operations of the county and the position of the chairman, instead of handling day-to-day operations, is to see that the board’s wishes are put forth to the different department heads and the county manager,” Thompson said.

The item was just on the agenda for discussion and not uo for a vote, but Thompson said he would like a vote on it before the end of the year so that it can be taken up in the 2023 Georgia legislative session. There would need to be a change to the enabling legislation for Walton County in the General Assembly. Thompson said he didn’t necessarily think it should be done immediately because his salary currently is pledged to charities and he didn’t want to cut those donations off immediately without fair warning. He thought it should be brought up to the legislature and then put in place for the next term, whether he is persuaded to run again or somebody else takes the role.

Some of the commissioners were immediately on board with the idea, but others felt it should be discussed in open session and the public given the opportunity to weigh in.

“We will try to have a public meeting on this before the November meeting and try to have something on the agenda at the November meeting to vote on,” Thompson said.

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