After a two month search and a week of interviews, the Dawson County Board of Commissioners has narrowed the field of county manager candidates to the top four applicants.
Commission Chairman Mike Berg on Monday said the county's next chief operating officer should be decided next week.
Those selected as finalists are Randall Dowling, former Barrow County manager; Bruce Georgia, a retired colonel in the U.S. Army and former Dahlonega city manager; Ronald Rabun, currently Lee County's manager; and Jason Tinsley, former chief executive and administrative officer for the City of Jefferson.
The search for a new county manager began in November following the unexpected resignation of Cindy Campbell, who had held the position since December 2012.
Berg said the county received 31 applications through the nationwide search campaign, including three from internal candidates. The pool was narrowed down to eight men who were interviewed by the board last week.
"We had good presentations. Out of the eight, by and large, they were all good," he said.
The four finalists are now being asked to make formal presentations to the full board of commissioners during Thursday's work session at 4 p.m.
"The process will be that they'll have 10 minutes a piece to talk about their qualifications and why they want the job," Berg said. They'll all be sitting there. We'll draw names out of a hat or I'll go alphabetically to call them up and let them speak."
The board will then meet on Monday to go over what they heard and see if they can come to a decision.
"If they can, then I'll meet with them individually to see if we can come to an agreement on the contract and salary," Berg said. "We will not vote until I talk to the individual to see if they're agreeable to the contract.
"My guess would be we can vote that Thursday [Jan. 21], and probably they will start sometime in mid-February."
Randall Dowling of Hoschton holds a master's of public administration from the University of North Texas and has more than 29 years of local government management experience in both city and county government.
He most recently served as county manager for Barrow County, overseeing a $66.5 million annual budget.
Previously, he held the position of county administrator in Gordon County for more than 11 years.
He also has county and city management experience in Berrien County, as well as Indian River and Homestead, Fla.
Bruce Georgia most recently served as Dahlonega's city manager from December 2013 to August 2014.
A retired colonel in the U.S. Army, he holds a master's of science administration in national strategy from the Air Force War College.
He was hand selected for commander and professor of military science at University of North Georgia to serve as an academic department head in the school of arts and letters and adjunct professor in the psychology department.
Georgia currently lives in Dahlonega.
Ronald Rabun of Griffin is a former city and county manager with a master's degree in public administration from the University of Georgia.
He has more than 30 years of chief executive officer experience and currently serves as Lee County's manager, a position he has held since October 2013.
He also served as an international consultant in the Middle East, Avondale Estates city manager, county administrator and management consultant in Oconee County, S.C., interim contract Milledgeville city manager and Griffin city manager.
Prior, he held government management positions in Washington, Florida and Georgia counties.
Jason Tinsley, who described himself as a multi-skilled, results-oriented public administration and finance professional, most recently served as chief executive and administrative officer for the City of Jefferson.
A resident of Jackson County, Tinsley held the same position for two years beginning in 2013 in Wayne County, where he implemented the county's first capital budget and strategic plan for building operating reserves.
Previously, he was Habersham County's assistant county manager for seven years and served as senior management and budget analyst in Leon County for two and a half years.