In a unanimous vote Thursday night, the Dawson County Board of Commissioners approved the hiring of Randall Dowling as the county's new manager and chief operating officer.
With nearly three decades of local government experience, his first day on the job was Monday.
"It's a very important position in any community, and I thank the board for their vote of confidence in me, as well as allowing me to manage their community," said Dowling, who currently lives in Hoschton, but has immediate plans to move to Dawsonville.
"All I can promise is that I'll do my best and give 100 percent."
Dowling is the permanent replacement for Cindy Campbell, who unexpectedly resigned in November.
Commission Chairman Mike Berg had performed many of the county manager's duties in the interim.
Of the 32 candidates that applied for the job, Berg said Dowling, who holds a master's of public administration from the University of North Texas, had every qualification the board was seeking in a manager.
"Every time we talked to him about situations that we had here, he either knew about his particular situation or how it was related to other counties," Berg said. "He also knew all about our budget. He could talk to us fluently about our own budget, which told me he had studied our county and was interested."
Dowling most recently served as county manager for Barrow County where he oversaw a $66.5 million annual budget and managed 10 department directors, as well as 576 full and part-time employees.
Prior to his work in Barrow County, he held the position of county administrator in Gordon County for more than 11 years and Lee County for six years.
Dowling said he brings a proven record of performance, accomplishments and stability to the Dawson County.
"Georgia counties, this is what I've been doing for 21 years. That's my niche. That's my comfort zone," he said.
According to his contract, Dowling's salary is $100,000 annually.