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County Administrator Brown Seems Clueless on Job Description

A Column by the Editor
web posted March 14, 2011

COLUMN – Edgefield County Administrator Alton Brown must have suffered some sort of amnesia when it comes to performing his job and what that job entails since last year at budget time. In an email sent to every elected official and county department head last week, Brown now claims he has no clue what to do. That is odd since the county council worked out a budget schedule the first of the year that was make public in early February.

It's not as if the Finance Committee is new to Mr. Brown as this is his second budget during his tenure. But for some reason, Brown now seems to have lost all memory of how to do his job this year.

In his email, obtained from more than one elected official outside of the county council, Brown says that since the council approved County Council Chairman Dean Campbell and Vice-chairwoman Genia Blackwell to the top two committee assignments, he has been given no instruction on what his duties are or what the roles of the "liaison assignments to the 'administrative' and 'finance' staff areas", are. He states, " I requested a written definition of 'administrative', 'finance' and council liaison duties and responsibilities. These requests received no response…"  

Brown continues, "The only instructions I have received were verbally from (Chairman) Mr. Campbell which were (Vice-chair) Mrs. Blackwell would take the lead in this year's budget and that if she and I have a disagreement, Mrs. Blackwell would prevail with the full Council making the decision."

Sounds like pretty clear instructions to me. Not to mention the released schedule for Mr. Brown and Finance Director Lynn Strom, which has a predetermined list of deadlines for them to complete their work (Feb 2, 2010), present the recommendations to the Finance Committee and the county council (March 3, 2010), and then the full county council (March 24, 2010) during a work session are pretty well defined.

You know, just like last year.

If Blackwell and Campbell are the sole arbiters of the county budget, we obviously do not need the services (or lack thereof) of Alton Brown. 
Not that it would be a huge loss if Brown wanted to pack his bags and head to his beloved Tennessee.

Brown seems to spend too much of his time "blogging" about Edgefield Daily with his invented and false claims in the minutes of the county council meetings rather than doing his job.

If he is as incompetent as he now claims to be, maybe it's time to fix that mistake and put somebody in place that can remember his job description from one year to the next.

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