Stephens gets nod to replace Connell

LAWRENCEVILLE - Commissioners on Tuesday called on an attorney to become Gwinnett's new county administrator.

Glenn Stephens, a former county attorney who has served as planning and development director for the past several years, will take over the role Sept. 1, beginning a transition with Jock Connell, who will retire at the end of the year.

Stephens, 47, said he was humbled by the board's selection and wanted to work to get the county in a good position for the recovery of the current economic doldrums, which have the county offering retirement incentives and cutting programs to trim costs.

"I feel like I have a role to play in the continued success of the county," said Stephens, who said he has a vested interest since his two children are growing up in Gwinnett.

Commissioner Mike Beaudreau said he is sad to see Connell leave the county, but he said Stephens' legal background would be an asset in steering officials to make good decisions.

"He's a very good person all the way around," Beaudreau said.

Commissioners have not agreed to a contract with Stephens, although on Tuesday, they agreed to an amendment to Connell's contract, allowing him to step down at the end of 2009 instead of the end of 2010.