On Tuesday, Cobb’s governing board will decide whether to elevate deputy county manager Jackie McMorris — the county’s second-in-command — to the position of county manager.
South Cobb Commissioner Lisa Cupid intends to vote against that decision.
“I think Jackie has done an excellent job for us as deputy county manager, but procedurally, I won’t be able to support this being on the agenda Tuesday,” Cupid said. “To always ensure that we’re putting the best person in these positions, I think it’s very important that we make this an open process. … Going through HR, advertising this for anybody who wants to be considered for the position.”
Cupid said the process of selecting McMorris — whose hiring needs to be approved by the Board of Commissioners — has not been an open one.
The position became available when current county manager Rob Hosack announced he would be retiring in April. The January news release announcing his retirement said McMorris would take over until the county commission “determines a path forward.”
County Chairman Mike Boyce announced at his State of the County address Feb. 10 that he would be asking the commissioners to confirm McMorris as the permanent county manager.
East Cobb Commissioner Bob Ott said he would be voting to hire McMorris, whom he described as “more than highly qualified.”
Ott said he had no issue with her hiring because “the position of deputy county manager was created with the understanding it was going to be part of succession planning.
“In my mind the board did the vetting when Dr. McMorris was put into that position,” he said.
In a text message to an MDJ reporter, north Cobb Commissioner JoAnn Birrell said she was not comfortable commenting on McMorris’ hiring ahead of Tuesday’s meeting.
McMorris, Boyce and west Cobb Commissioner Keli Gambrill did not immediately return calls seeking comment Friday afternoon.
McMorris started working for Cobb County in 2013 as the public services director, and became deputy county manager in October 2017, according to the county’s website.
Hosack, 56, has been county manager since May 2017. His original employment contract, with an annual salary of $210,000, ended Dec. 31, 2019.
In other business, the county will also seek commissioners’ permission to rezone an entire neighborhood in Austell made up of 98 parcels with historic homes built around 1932.
Some of the parcels in the Clarkdale Mill Village are zoned for industrial use. As such, the community “is legally nonconforming,” according to county documents.
Changing that would “allow residents in the area to make improvements or additions to their homes, as well as to rebuild if necessary.”
Commissioners are also being asked to approve the creation of a new part-time, temporary position in the Juvenile Court using savings from the previous budget year.
“This position will assist the Juvenile Court Clerk’s office in ensuring that all court filings, orders and records are accurately maintained and up to date,” according to county documents.
Juvenile court’s savings from fiscal year 2019 are more than $107,000. About $39,000 will go to the new, temporary, part-time position. The other $68,000 will go to “professional services,” according to county documents.
Commissioners will meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. at 100 Cherokee Street in the second floor public meeting room.