Connell will take same job in Hall

Photo by Jason Braverman

Photo by Jason Braverman

GAINESVILLE — A year of retirement was enough for former Gwinnett County Administrator Jock Connell.

On Thursday, he was hired to take on the same role as the head of Hall County’s government — at least for the next six months.

“I’m glad to be working again,” Connell said Friday. “There’s only so much golf you can play.”

At the end of 2009, Connell retired after 23 years with Gwinnett County.

According to The Times in Gainesville, Connell was chosen to replaced Charley Nix as county administrator in a contentious meeting Thursday.

Despite the objections of Chairman Tom Oliver, two new commissioners combined political strength with another commissioner to call for the resignations of Nix, the county attorney, assistant county administrator and finance director.

The county attorney was replaced Thursday as well, and on Friday the other two left the county. Connell named his former assistant county administrator in Gwinnett, Lisa Johnsa, to head Hall’s finance department on a temporary basis.

The county plans to consult with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia for a permanent county administrator.

Just 53 years old, Connell said he considers his own temp job “a good test” of whether he wants to continue in the government sector.

“There’s a lot of energy. There’s a lot going on,” he said. “They are different in some ways than Gwinnett, but there are universal things that all local governments are involved in, and that’s finances” in these rocky economic times.