The Georgetown City administrator’s office is empty today but is expected to be occupied once again early next week.
Chris Eldridge, hired to the position in March 2009, spent his final day Wednesday packing up as he prepares to take over as Horry County Administrator on June 18.
Carey Smith, former Rock Hill city manager, has been hired as Georgetown’s interim administrator.
Mayor Jack Scoville said Smith has found a house to rent and could begin working as soon as Monday.
He is being paid $500 per day and is also being given a $1,500 monthly housing allowance and a car to use during his service to the city.
Scoville said one of Smith’s main duties will be to assist with the search for the next permanent administrator.
“We have started advertising the position and have already received some resumes,” Scoville said, adding he hopes someone will be hired for the job within the next 60 days.
Scoville said Smith will also assist with the hiring of a new finance director. Jessica Miller, who held that position for years, left last month for a private sector job while her assistant, Walt Ackerman, has been named the new Williamsburg County finance director.
Until the post is filled, the accounting firm of Smith Sapp Bookhout Crumpler & Calliham will operate the city’s finance department.
The firm is stepping in as city council is trying to pass it’s 2012-13 budget. Final reading on the spending plan will take place on June 21.
“The budget is in pretty good shape,” Scoville said. “We have ironed out the wrinkles here and there.”
Last week, council agreed the city would pick up the cost of the insurance premium increases for city workers. That will cost the city $65,000.
Scoville said because of the number of people who have left their jobs with the city in the past few weeks, the savings will more than pay for the money needed for the city to foot that bill.
As for the Building and Planning Department, it is still undecided how that office will operate. City Planner Elizabeth Tucker left in May for family reasons.
Scoville said there are some on council who would like to turn the planning services over to Waccamaw Regional Council of Governments while others want to hire a new planning director.
He said council will take its time making that decision.
“That will probably be the last hire we make,” he said.
By Scott Harper
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