The Hall County Commission approved the employment of several officials at its meeting Thursday and among those was Jock Connell as the new County Administrator.
Connell was named interim administrator in August after former administrator Randy Knighton left to fill the city manager position in the city of Stockbridge. It was not the first time Connell had served as Hall's interim administrator, as he filled the role in 2011 before Knighton was named to the job.
"I'm honored," Connell said after the meeting. "The years I've been here I've been incredibly impressed with this county and the people of this county."
Connell worked in the Gwinnett County government for over 20 years starting in 1986, including a stint as the county administrator. He said Gwinnett saw major growth during those years and he believes that experience during that time can help him with some of the growth coming into Hall County.
"What one of the beauties of coming from Gwinnett is is you've got a roadmap," Connell said. "I always say if you like some of the things that Gwinnett did, and quite frankly, I'm objective, I do like some of the things, I was part of it, you've got a roadmap of how to replicate that. On the other side of it, if there's things you don't like about the way that Gwinnett handled growth...then we've got a roadmap on how not to replicate those things."
Connell said while Hall is facing some of the same issues that Gwinnett County did, he believes the county is still unique.
"It has its own set of resources, it has its own set of geography, its own set of assets, and I think what we need to do is we need to seize on the things that are unique to Hall," Connell said. "Hall doesn't have to take a back seat to anybody."
He said his goals as administrator will be to create a more unified and organized staff around him.
"The first thing we're going to do is we're going to be more goal and objective oriented," Connell said. "We're going to try to help develop staff and involve more people in areas of the organization so we create some depth."
Connell was confirmed by the county commission along with Assistant County Administrator Marty Nix.