The Union Recorder

Local News

November 23, 2012

McMullen voted new county manager


Along with other bombshells, Tuesday's Baldwin County Commission meeting ended with Ralph McMullen as the new county manager.

Linda Fussell, District 2, made a motion to appoint McMullen, removing his interim county manager title. Bubba Williams, District 5, was the lone county official who took issue with the decision.

Williams mentioned a resume process to screen the best candidate for the job seemed necessary. For that reason, he voted no Tuesday.

Incoming District 5 County Commissioner Johnny Westmoreland said the process needed to be open.

“It should have been put out to the public. Like [Williams] said last night, I have no problem with Ralph [McMullen],” Westmoreland said. “I think he has done the county a good job as far as I can tell, but it should have been done differently.”

Not knowing what the hiring practices are for the county, the District 5 commissioner-elect said resumes should have been collected followed by a board decision on the best candidate.

“I think they should have left it alone and let the incoming board make the decision. We are the ones who are going to have to deal with it. These guys that are leaving are out of it now,” Westmoreland said.

The incoming District 5 commissioner wants to see a county manager job description to get more knowledge about what the position really entails.

Fussell's replacement, Tommy French, weighed in as well. French said the county should keep everything consistent and fair by filling all county positions through an open process. Not doing so sets up citizen inquiry, according to French.

“You shouldn't leave any open doors for questions to be asked about the commission. You should always do things in a fair, appropriate and consistent way,” French said. “I can't say how the county feels. There are many mixed feelings. If you don't put yourself in those situations, you don't have to worry about those questions.”

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