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McCorkle accepts temp position in Sandersville
City council hires former clerk to act as temporary city administrator
McCorkle photo
Judy McCorkle - photo by FILE
    Former Statesboro City Clerk Judy McCorkle was hired to act as the temporary city administrator for the City of Sandersville at a called Sandersville council meeting Thursday.
Sandersville, located about two hours northwest of Statesboro, needed a temporary replacement after the previous administrator resigned, said Sandersville Mayor Jimmy Andrews.
    “We needed somebody to come up and help us,” Andrews said. “We’ve known Judy through the Georgia Municipal Association and the Clerks Association…and we felt like she’d be the person we need to help us out on a temporary basis.”  
    It is unclear how McCorkle’s acceptance of this temporary position will affect either her reinstatement or the civil action filed by Statesboro citizen Anthony Mann. However, Statesboro Mayor Bill Hatcher said he has asked McCorkle not to return to work at the city until an outcome can be determined by a judge.
    “We’ve asked her not to come back until we get a ruling from the judge,” Hatcher said.
    On June 2, the Statesboro city council voted 3-2 to reinstate McCorkle to her previous positions as city clerk and director of finance and administration creating a controversy concerning who had the authority to hire and fire city employees – the city manager or the city council. In response to the reinstatement, Mann filed a complaint June 16 with the Superior Court of Bulloch County, claiming the council does not have the authority to hire and fire employees and seeking an injunction to prevent McCorkle’s reinstatement with the city.
    Superior Court Judge William Woodrum set Aug. 24 as the date to hear Mann’s claim. However, when he signed the rule nisi order June 18, Woodrum denied the injunction by striking the wording that would have prevented the city from proceeding with McCorkle’s reinstatement.
    Councilman Will Britt heard about McCorkle’s temporary appointment, but said he’s not sure how that news will affect the city or the action by Mann.
    “I’ve heard that she’s accepted a job in Sandersville,” Britt said. “I still don’t know what that means. I think that’s one of the biggest problems that someone has to answer at some point.”
    Sandersville council members Henry Watts and Martha Armstrong said McCorkle will fill in for the next two months while they search for a permanent replacement. They said it’s time for the Sandersville budget to be created and they were looking for someone with experience in that area.
    “She’s just going to help us out, thank goodness, until that time,” Armstrong said. “Working with our finances mostly and working with our clerk. We have a new clerk and we understand she’s very good in that area.”  
    Asked if McCorkle might be considered for the full-time position, Armstrong said McCorkle told the council she is not interested in pursuing the administrator post on a permanent basis.
    Even if McCorkle chooses to accept a permanent position with another city, Mann said he would like to clear up the confusion about who exactly has the ability to hire and fire employees within the city, so the city is not faced with another controversial situation.
    “I cannot have a city where the mayor and councilmen do not know what form of governance they have. There’s nothing to keep them from doing it again if they’re not made to understand, or to inform themselves, of what form of government runs our city,” Mann said. “I just don’t want this to happen again. I want them to run the city according to law, not just how they feel that day.”
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