Caulder accepts interim county administrator position

WINNSBORO – The majority 4 on Fairfield County Council voted to hire their sixth choice for interim administrator, Brad Caulder, during a special called meeting Thursday night, June 3, following a five-minute executive session. Caulder is the county’s director of Human Resources. He did not attend the meeting.

Caulder

Before the vote for Caulder, Councilman Neil Robinson made a motion to hire Fairfield’s assistant county administrator Laura Johnson as the interim administrator.

“I think we’re at a stage right now…I believe she’s the one to carry the torch forward,” Robinson said. Following the meeting, Robinson cited Johnson’s years of experience with the county and her overall role and expertise in assisting Taylor run the county for the last two year.

Johnson, a CPA and former finance director of the county, will retire Friday, June 4, the last full day that Taylor said he will be in the county offices before moving into the town manager’s job at the Town of Winnsboro.

Johnson and Taylor are two of several top county officials who were pushed out by the majority 4 since January.

Council voted 3-4 against hiring Johnson, with the majority 4, Moses Bell, Mikel Trapp, Tim Roseborough and Shirley Greene voting against. Council members Robinson, Douglas Pauley and Clarence Gilbert voted for.

After Trapp made the motion to hire Caulder, Pauley proposed an amendment to the motion.

That amendment called for Caulder’s appointment to be for no more than a three-month period and for Caulder to be allowed to transfer back into the role of Human Resources Director following the three months.

Pauley said following the meeting that he, Gilbert and Robinson hoped such an amendment would protect Caulder’s job until he gets back to it.

Alluding to the majority 4’s penchant for government secrecy, Pauley also stipulated in his motion that, during the period Fairfield County has an interim administrator, any communications initiated to the interim administrator by a member of Council, including the Chair and Vice Chair, be in email format, and that all other Council members be copied on the email.

 “While I am hesitant to hire someone for the position of interim administrator who does not have extensive local government organization leadership experience,” Pauley said, “we need to do what is best for Fairfield County right now and we need to have an interim administrator by tomorrow according to state law. I think the best we can do tonight, considering the circumstances, is to hire a person we know to be intelligent and ethical. I believe Mr. Caulder to be both,” Pauley said.

Pauley said the focus must now be shifted to hiring an imminently qualified permanent administrator.

“We have no time to waste in doing that. I think three months is a reasonable timeline,” Pauley said. He called for stability and for no individual council members to attempt to micro-manage the interim administrator.

“If this amendment passes, I will vote to appoint Mr. Caulder as the interim administrator. If the amendment fails, I will not be able to vote in favor of the appointment,” Pauley said.

The amendment failed 3-4 with Pauley, Robinson and Gilbert voting for the amendment. Bell, Trapp, Roseborough and Greene voted against.

Council authorized Bell and the county attorney, Charles Boykin, to negotiate a contract with Caulder.

Bell said Caulder has experience in human resources and public works.

“What we’re doing tonight is a very innovative approach,” Bell said. “We believe this move will allow us to gain more depth in our organization, and it creates a significant alternative long term.”

There was no mention of who would be over Human Resources during Caulder’s absence.

Following the meeting, Caulder said in a phone interview with The Voice, “We will work as a team to continue to provide services for the citizens.”

Comments

  1. Marcus Polk says

    Everyone that knows Brad knows he is intelligent and ethical. Maybe some of that will rub off on the Majority 4.

  2. Jeff Schaffer says

    Being intelligent and ethical are personal assets. They can not be rubbed off onto people who have neither!
    We have witnessed the slippery slope of one man Trapp. guiding another Bell into the tunnel of darkness. all he can see is what Trapp tells him is in front of him. Bell is not an evil man, Just, unfortunately, one who is easily swayed and influenced by certain people. If he would think and act for himself then they would only have 3.

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