2014-10-29 / Front Page


Director resigns
By Elizabeth Billips

Burke County’s longtime Development Authority Director has unexpectedly resigned.

Jerry Long, who turns 70 this week, walked away early Thursday morning from the post he’s held for 28 years.

His abrupt resignation was apparently spurred by a disagreement with County Administrator Merv Waldrop over job duties and the direction of the county.

“We had some philosophical differences,” Waldrop said, “He decided it was time to go ahead and retire.”

Officials say it may take months to name a replacement.

The Development Authority of Burke County met yesterday (Tuesday) and ultimately appointed a three-member search committee made up of Georgia Power Area Manager Cam Parker, A&W Oil Company vice president Roy “Chip” Barefield and Southern Bank CEO Preston Conner, who is also mayor of Sardis.

The committee is in the process of retaining a national firm to expand the search for applicants beyond the county and state.

There was no mention of an interim director.

Long had been earning $79,830 a year as the county’s Development Authority Director. The current salary range runs from $58,153 to just under $80,000, depending on education and experience.

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