WINDER -- Gwinnett's former top appointed official may soon become Barrow's first county manager.
Jock Connell, who served as Gwinnett county administrator from 2005 through the end of 2009, is the sole candidate being considered to run its neighbor government.
"He was by far and away the top choice" of a selection committee, said Barrow Human Resources Director Charlie Felts. "He brought the greatest depth of experience and the leadership skills the committee was looking for."
If contract negotiations go well, Barrow commission will vote on the choice Dec. 11, and Connell will start the job in January, the date set for the expected change to a county manager form of government.
After a year of retirement from his 23 years with Gwinnett, Connell was picked to serve as interim county administrator for Hall County, and he has continued to serve as a consultant to the government through 2012.
Hall County spokeswoman Katie Crumley said Connell has declined to discuss the job possibility until the Dec. 11 vote.
Felts said 48 resumes were submitted for the post, which was narrowed to a short list of three for interviews. The committee, which consisted of Barrow's six district commissioners and incoming chairwoman Pat Graham, gave Felts the go-ahead to negotiate terms of a contract, he said.
Gwinnett Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said she is excited for her former colleague, who served as deputy county administrator when Nash held the top post.
"Barrow County is fortunate to have an experienced local government manager like Jock interested in the administrator position," she said. "I worked with Jock for 17 years at Gwinnett. I know the level of knowledge and integrity he will bring to service with Barrow if his selection is finalized."