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Dawson County commissioners welcome this longtime public official as new county manager
New county manager photo
Dawson County board members congratulate new county manager Joey Leverette after voting to approve him for the position. From left, Seth Stowers, Joey Leverette, Billy Thurmond, Chris Gaines and Emory Dooley. - photo by Julia Hansen

A Macon resident with extensive utilities and public works-related experience will now serve as Dawson County’s next county manager. 

This story continues below.

During their May 18 voting session, the Board of Commissioners unanimously approved sole finalist Joey Leverette for the leadership position. Leverette will officially start the role on Monday, May 22. 

District 2 Commissioner Chris Gaines explained that he and his colleagues have spent “a lot of time, energy and effort to make sure we’re doing it right” to vet someone’s qualifications, personality and character through processes like reviewing applications and online interviews.

“What we are looking for as a board [is] what would be the best fit for Dawson county but very importantly the leadership and the employees of Dawson County because they are the lead in day-to-day operations,” Gaines said. 

“I’m really excited to get back to northeastern Georgia, and Dawson County is a beautiful community with a lot of great people and a lot of potential,” Leverette said. 

A number of years ago, Leverette lived and worked in Gainesville, Georgia for 16 years, with he and his children occasionally visiting the Dawsonville area. 

He added that Dawson County has “great staff” and “great leadership” with the board and reiterated that he was glad to be here for the opportunity. 

Leverette previously served for about one year as the Executive Director of the Macon Water Authority, according to his resumé that DCN obtained through an open records act request. 

Before that, he worked for 27-plus years in various water wastewater management and public utilities-related roles in Florida and in cities across Georgia. 

Leverette earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Georgia and a master’s in public administration from Georgia College and State University, according to his resumé.

Board of Commissioners chairman Billy Thurmond took the time after the vote to thank interim county manager Vickie Neikirk for serving in the temporary role for six-plus months.

“She’s [done] a wonderful job for us serving in the role of county manager as well as maintaining her role as our Chief Financial Officer…we knew she would [do well]. It was a no-doubter whenever we made the decision on that,” Thurmond said. 

Thurmond presented Neikirk with a large vase of flowers and an appreciative plaque while thanking her, county clerk Kristen Cloud and the board for working with her as they all put effort into finding a new county manager. 

Tearing up, Neikirk shared that her interim role has been “fun and interesting” but looked forward to passing the torch to someone else. 

“It’s been a privilege and an honor,” Neikirk said.