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Escambia County Administrator search continues

ESCAMBIA COUNTY   --  Escambia County commissioners were hoping to have a permanent administrator in place by now.

The five finalists for were to meet with commissioners for private interviews last Thursday. Then a public meeting with the whole board. Followed by a vote.

Those meetings have now been rescheduled for March 13th.   
The county has been searching for a permanent administrator since November of 2012.

The late George Touart stepped in as interim administrator for 13 months. Then resigned before passing away last month.

Assistant county administrator Larry Newsome has been filling the void while the hiring process continues.
Newsome has support in the business community, and on the board, to be named to the position. But he did not apply for the job last fall and isn't one of the finalists.

The administrator selection committee is taking some heat.
No women or minorities made the final cut, even though their resumes showed them to be qualified.

"I think we have qualified individuals, which I'm looking forward to. I just heard Commissioner May's comments this morning, so I'm happy to work with him in any way I can in the evaluation. I want to be sure this is the right process, everything is done the right way," says Escambia County Commissioner Grover Robinson.

The board will be voting tonight on whether or not to make Larry Newsome the interim administrator until a permanent person is hired.

Picking a new county administrator is critical decision. The county has some big issues to deal with: ECUA waste collections, the jail and the Department of Justice, business development, restore dollars and extending the local option sales tax.

Having the right person in place to deal with it all will be vital.