Georgetown Co. NAACP raises concerns about county administrator selection process

VIDEO: Georgetown Co. NAACP criticizes county administrator search

GEORGETOWN, S.C. (WCSC) - The Georgetown County chapter of the NAACP told reporters Tuesday afternoon they have concerns about practices with Georgetown County Council.

The NAACP, along with other community action groups, addressed the selection process for a new county administrator as well as budgetary concerns and alleged misuse of capital improvement funds.

On Tuesday night, council members voted 4-3, following an executive session, to offer the county administrator job to David Garner.

The NAACP claimed the county council chairman sent an email with his top choices in the hopes of moving everything along. They also claimed capital funds have been misused and a lack of transparency from council.

Throughout Tuesday afternoon’s news conference, the group addressed what it considers “red flags” over the years when it comes to balancing the budget. They called for a forensic audit of the council.

The county, meanwhile, says it has conducted a thorough search following a plan laid out publicly months ago. The county also said there was plenty of time for people to meet the top three finalists for the county administrator job.

Georgetown County officials released the following statement Tuesday night:

Georgetown County Council voted 4-3 following an executive session on Oct. 22 to offer the job of County Administrator to David Garner, the current administrator for Abbeville County. If he accepts the job as anticipated, Garner will take over as the county’s top executive on Jan. 1, following the retirement of Sel Hemingway, who has been the County Administrator since 2008.

Garner has been the director of Abbeville County since July 2017. He was also town administrator in Calhoun Falls for nine months in 2016 and 2017. Prior to that, he spent four years as a regional coordinator with the S.C. Emergency Management Division.

Garner has a bachelor’s degree in emergency management from Jacksonville State University in Alabama and a master’s degree in public administration from Clemson University. He and his wife Taryn have five children between the ages of 1 and 13.

Garner said he is attracted to the diversity of Georgetown County and the challenges it faces as it grows. He said he plans to have an open door policy for employees and residents, and believes in an open and transparent government. One of his first priorities as administrator will be guiding the county in creating a balanced budget for the next fiscal year, he said.

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