Jamie Cooper Sikes has been named the new finance director of McDuffie County.
Mrs. Sikes was one of four people recently interviewed for the position by county commissioners before their voting 3-2 to hire her during this month's first commission meeting, held on Wednesday, Sept. 2. In a roll-call vote, commissioners were divided 2-2 on whether Mrs. Sikes or Pamela Workman should be hired for the post. Commission Chairman Charlie Newton broke the tie, casting his vote for Mrs. Sikes.
Earlier in the meeting, Mrs. Workman, who serves as assistant director of the county finance department, was the fourth candidate to be interviewed for the finance director position.
Three candidates, including Mrs. Sikes, Riley Stamey, of Thomson, and Darlow Maxwell, of Milledgeville, were interviewed by commissioners during a special called meeting on Aug. 27. Commissioners put together the names of the top three candidates at that time. Since that meeting, Commissioner Fred Favors had asked that Mrs. Workman be interviewed, too.
"I asked that her name be added to the agenda for the meeting, because I felt that was the fair thing to do," the Rev. Favors said, noting he appreciated the opportunity that commissioners granted him in adding a fourth candidate to the interview process.
The interviews of all four candidates were done publicly.
He and fellow commissioners had agreed earlier that they would each submit the names of their top three candidates. In that process, Mrs. Workman received only two votes -- Commissioners Favors and Vice-Chairman Sammie Wilson Sr. -- not three as was needed to make the original cut. The original three candidates received at least three votes each.
Contacted after commissioners agreed to hire her as the new finance director, Mrs. Sikes said, "It's great. I'm real excited about getting back into a government job and being closer to home. There's going to be some challenges, but I'm ready to handle them as best I can."
She added that she feels "very excited and honored" to have been chosen the new finance director. "I am proficient in my knowledge of governmental accounting and will be extremely dedicated to doing the very best job for our taxpayers. I look forward to serving our community in this capacity and dedicate my efforts to the prosperity of McDuffie County."
Mrs. Sikes tentatively plans to start her new job Monday.
Jimmy Whitaker is serving as interim county finance director. Mr. Whitaker had served as finance director of the county for several years before deciding to retire earlier this year. He has been working part-time hours since becoming interim director.
Mrs. Sikes is married to Al Sikes, a truck driver with UPS. The couple has two daughters, Cooper Miley, 4, and Caroline Isbella "Bella," 5 months. Mrs. Sikes is a member of Macedonia United Methodist Church in Warren County. There, she serves on the board of trustees, serves as membership secretary and is a member of the education committee. She also is a member of Georgia College and State University Alumni Association.