Newton board votes to hire Sims as interim county executive

COVINGTON, Ga. –Newton County commissioners on Monday selected a former Georgia city official for the position of acting county executive.

The Board of Commissioners voted to appoint former Deputy City of Augusta Administrator Jarvis R. Sims to oversee the day-to-day operations of Newton County Government.

The commissioners voted 4-0 with one abstention for Sims for the job.

The board chose Sims over Washington Deputy Mayor Lucinda Babers, who has served as Washington’s deputy mayor for operations and infrastructure since March 2019 and is the first vice chair of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Board of Directors. Authority (WMATA).

The county executive is responsible for submitting the annual budget to the council and overseeing the day-to-day operations of parts of county government not overseen by constitutional officers – the sheriff, probate judge, commissioner of tax and clerk of the court superior.

In addition to Deputy Administrator, Sims served as Augusta’s Interim Administrator for over 18 months.

Sims earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, a master’s degree in business administration from Mercer University and an online certification in digital government transformation from Harvard University, according to the Chronicle.

He was also a finalist for City Manager of Forest Park in Clayton County and served as Director of Capital Projects and Public Safety Administrator for the City of East Point.

County Attorney Patrick Jaugstetter and Chairman Marcello Banes interviewed six of the initial 19 candidates for the position before determining who they thought were the best candidates to participate in a final round of interviews for commissioners to determine at least a finalist.

District 3 Commissioner Alana Sanders, the only board member who abstained, said she did so because she opposed the hiring process.

She said the county charter does not prohibit commissioners from participating in interviews before a finalist is named.

Sims will replace Lloyd Kerr after the commissioners voted 3-2 in November not to renew his contract after it expired on January 1 after five years in the role.

The board members did not disclose a salary for The Sims. Kerr won $135,000.

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