Just seven weeks into the job as the finance director of McDuffie County, Jamie Sikes has decided to leave the position and return to the private sector, The McDuffie Mirror has learned.
"I really wanted this to work out," Mrs. Sikes said during an interview Friday. "I even took a pay cut to come here because I wanted to get back into county government. But because I'm going to back to school and my obligations to my family, it's just not going to work out like I had planned."
Mrs. Sikes, who is pursuing an additional degree at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, plans to return to her former job as controller at Barnett Southern Corporation in neighboring Washington. Before beginning work there in 2007, she had worked as assistant comptroller with the McDuffie County Board of Education in Thomson for 71/2 years.
Her class is held on Tuesday nights. She would miss county commission meetings on third Tuesdays.
During a recent work session, however, officials said they could work around her missing the second commission meeting while she was attending classes.
"I just don't think it's fair to the commissioners for me not to be present," Mrs. Sikes said.
"I think it's real important that I attend those meetings."
Mrs. Sikes said she spoke with McDuffie County Manager Don Norton, in addition to Commission Chairman Charlie Newton about her decision to leave last Friday.
"I told her right away that I wish she would re-consider her decision," Mr. Norton said during an interview on Monday. "We've been delighted with her abilities and performance during the short period that she has worked for the county. It will definitely be a great loss to our organization. She's been an excellent employee and again I wish she would re-consider leaving."