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Commission to interview county attorney applicants
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The Dawson County Board of Commissioners have announced that there will be a special called meeting at 9 a.m. Thursday with the purpose of going into executive session to interview county attorney applicants.

The meeting will be held in the assembly room on the second floor at the courthouse.

According to Ginny Tarver, assistant to County Manager David Headley, the commission plans to interview all four of the applicants.

Commissioners voted on Dec. 12 to officially begin the search for an applicant to fill an internal legal services position that, if accepted, would be the first on-staff attorney the county has ever seen.

A job opening for the position was posted on the Dawson County Government website, listing the scope of performance and job requirements, which were set by a committee after their initial meeting on the morning of Dec. 12.

According to the job posting, applicants "must possess a Juris Doctorate with at least seven years' work experience in a law-related field pertaining to county government, be a member in good standing with the Georgia Bar and admitted to practice law in the Superior Courts of Georgia," among other qualifications.

A salary has not been set by the board and will depend on qualifications. Under the contract attorney system, the annual costs for the county vary depending on the amount of legal work that is required.

The county accepted applications for the position until 5 p.m. on Jan. 4.

If the commission does decide they would like to hire an applicant, there are rules they must follow.

Once the names are narrowed down to the final applicant, their name and records must be available to the public for two weeks prior to the board officially hiring them. If the board votes to narrow their list of options down to three or less, they must release all of the names.

Commissioners said they are trying not to get ahead of themselves and are simply examining options.

"We're just checking out our alternatives and at the end of the day we'll be able to say that we looked into it and tried to make the best decision for our taxpayers," Dawson County District 4 Commissioner Julie Hughes Nix said last month.

When asked what the impetus was to start examining other options, none of the commissioners wished to explicitly comment, other than to repeat the reasons they initially brought up during their Dec. 8 work session.

"We're just looking for whatever way we can to save taxpayers money," said Nix.

"I will say we don't take this lightly," Fausett said. "But I'd rather not comment on that."

The next Dawson County Board of Commissioners meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. Jan. 12 in the Dawson County Government Center, 25 Justice Way, Dawsonville.

The board will conduct another special called meeting immediately following the Jan. 12 work session to appoint members of the planning commission and for other purposes.