Walton County BOC votes to cut chairman’s salary from next election cycle

WALTON COUNTY, GA (Dec. 7, 2022) At Tuesday’s Walton County Board of Commissioners meeting in October, Chairman David Thompson asked that the BOC members consider cutting the chairman’s salary to almost 1/4 of what it currently is and that the position be made part-time. This request was affirmed at Tuesday’s meeting when the BOC approved the measure, voting to cut the future salary to $30,000. It will go into effect at the next election cycle. Whoever is elected to the position in 2024, instead of earning $99,000 will instead be employed part-time and will earn a $30,000 annual salary.

Thompson had requested the change 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 at the time he didn’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.
Thompson has continued to earn a full salary since Ward came on board, but has donated it to various charities around Walton County. Ward earns an annual salary of $180,000.

At the meeting Tuesday, the BOC approved this change to the enabling legislation for the county as well as to raise the purchasing authority for the chairman from $5,000 to $25,000 to avoid him having to constantly get in touch with board members on some items.

The measure passed with just Walton County Commissioner Lee Bradford voting against it. The request for the change will now be carried by State Rep. Bruce Williamson to the Georgia General Assembly for approval in the 2023 Legislative Session.

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