Jackson County hires administrator

Jackson County hires administrator

August 31st, 2013 by Ben Benton in Local Regional News

New Jackson County, Ala., Administrator Bob Manning started on the job this week.

Photo by Ben Benton /Times Free Press.

Jackson County, Ala., has a new administrator filling the post that had remained vacant since the June firing of former Administrator Sandra Erickson.

New Jackson County Administrator Bob Manning officially was hired Monday night and started his new job Tuesday with a meet-and-greet tour of county government and taking on the trials of getting up and running in a new office.

Manning said he went through the usual process of applying for the post and going through two rounds of interviews before he got the nod.

Manning doesn't move around a lot.

"I've only had two jobs since 1984," Manning said.

Manning, 57, served as financial controller for Jeff Sikes Inc. from 1984 to 2010 when he took a job as controller with "SCSWORKS," a company that produces trade show exhibits and provides event management.

The former administrator, Erickson, was fired in June because of "gross neglect," and a county personnel board review upheld her dismissal in July.

County Commission Chairman Matthew Hodges said work experience made Manning a standout among the 20 people who applied for the job.

The main attraction was "his private business experience" which was important in the County Commission's unanimous pick.

"Through the interview process, we saw that the way he does business was very much what we're looking for," Hodges said. "We want to tighten our belt up a little bit and do things a little more business-like because we have to be responsible for the people's money."

There will be "a lot of catch up" on Manning's plate, as well as budget development, he said.

"I have confidence, especially in working with him this week, that he'll be able to handle that," Hodges said.

Manning plans to get his office organized quickly and start "working and serving the county where I live," he said.

"Naturally, there'll be some things I need to dive into headfirst quickly," he said, "but they [administrative staff and Hodges] have done a great job keeping up."

Contract staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6569.