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3 in line for finance director post

The top three candidates vying to become the next finance director of McDuffie County were interviewed by commissioners last week.

During this week's commission meeting, held on Wednesday, commissioners were expected to name one of them as the new finance director. News of that possible appointment will appear in a story in next week's newspaper.

The three candidates in line for the position include Jaime Sikes, Riley Stamey and Darlow Maxwell.

Jimmy Whitaker, who had served in that capacity for several years before his retirement earlier this year, presently is serving as interim finance director.

At least two of the candidates have local ties and live in the area. They include Mrs. Sikes, who presently works for a company in Washington and lives in the Warren County town of Camak and Mr. Stamey, a retired city bank president, living in Thomson. Mr. Stamey also serves as chairman of the McDuffie County Industrial Development Authority.

Mr. Maxwell, meanwhile, who is working in Doraville, makes his home in Milledgeville. If hired, he desires to commute back and forth every day to Thomson.

Commissioners called a special meeting Aug. 26, where the top three candidates were asked various questions. Mrs. Sikes went first, followed by Mr. Stamey and then Mr. Maxwell.

The person hired as the chief financial officer would be responsible for a $13 million county government operating budget, according to government officials. That person also would oversee an additional $25 million over a six-year period regarding Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds.

In the advertisement seeking a finance director, commissioners noted they were seeking "a forward-thinking" candidate who has a team-player philosophy and "very strong leadership and financial management skills."

The minimum qualifications included:

Bachelor's degree in finance, accounting or related field from an accredited college or university -- a master's degree preferred;

Five years of progressively responsible experience in public accounting or finance administration with considerable experience in a supervisory capacity;

Any combination of education, training and experience that provides the required knowledge and skills is acceptable;

Certified finance officer or working towards certification; and

CPA certified.


Mrs. Sikes works as controller at Barnett Southern Corporation in Washington -- a position she has held since May 2007. There, she oversees an annual budget of $17 million. Prior to getting that job, she worked with the McDuffie County Board of Education as assistant comptroller for 61/2 years. There, she assisted in budget preparation and execution of $53 million.

Her education includes attending Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville from 2008 until the present where she is working on her master of accountancy degree, which is expected to be completed in the spring of 2010. She currently is working on classes in preparation for the CPA examination. Mrs. Sikes also holds an MBA degree in business administration and a BBA in business administration.

Mrs. Sikes did not provide a cover letter with her resume.


Mr. Stamey was city president of SunTrust Bank from 1984 through 2007, where he oversaw two retail bank offices with deposits of $73 million. Prior to moving to Thomson, Mr. Stamey served as executive vice-president and was on the board of directors of First National Bank of Polk County in Cedartown, Ga., from 1973 through 1984. His banking career began as an assistant cashier at the Bank of Toccoa, Ga.

His education includes having graduated from the School of Banking at LSU; as well as Georgia Banking School, Truett-McConnell College and Toccoa High School.

"I feel that my past experience in banking and finance will bring a unique skill to the arena of public finance," Mr. Stamey wrote in a letter to McDuffie County Manager Don Norton. "Having been a volunteer in the community for 25 years and serving as a member of the Development Authority, exemplifies my commitment to the growth and prosperity of Thomson-McDuffie County. The next three years will be crucial as the government complex is built and becomes a reality in our community. I welcome the opportunity to be a person of support to accomplish this mission."


Mr. Maxwell presently serves as city accountant/chief financial officer for the City of Doraville in Doraville, Ga. He started that job earlier this year. From 2006-2009, Mr. Maxwell served as director of finance for the Jasper County Board of Commissioners in Monticello, Ga. Prior to that job, he worked as finance director for the Lee County Board of Commissioners in Leesburg, Ga., from 1999-2006.

He also worked as a U.S. Internal Revenue Service treasury agent in Valdosta, Ga., from 1973-1984.

His education includes a bachelor's degree in business administration and accounting from Valdosta State University, and extensive federal income formal classroom training.

Mr. Maxwell also served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1967-1971. He served aboard the CGC Sebago in Vietnam during 1969.

Mr. Maxwell told Mr. Norton in a cover letter that he hasn't worked long in his present job.

"I work with a group of talented and interesting people who along with the mayor have been extremely kind and fair to me," Mr. Maxwell said. "The only downside is that I have to live in Atlanta during the week. Even though this is a small price to pay for an excellent job, I miss being at home and with my wife. She has just accepted a job as the K-12 math coach for Taliaferro County and this provides me with a possible opportunity. If selected for the job, I would be able to carpool/commute with my wife on a mostly daily basis and live at home."

Web posted on Thursday, September 03, 2009

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