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Grady County’s new administrator is wrapping up his first year on the job and with his evaluation slated for Sept. 3, J.C. (Buddy) Johnson III, took the opportunity Tuesday night to clear the air and get issues off his chest near the conclusion of the Grady County Commission meeting.
Johnson has pushed back strongly against critics of county government from time to time during his first year on the job. Most recently, a heated exchange erupted following the Aug. 6 commission meeting between the administrator and outspoken county government critic Richard Jordan.
Without specifically calling Jordan by name Tuesday night, Johnson read from a prepared statement that made clear his opinion of Jordan and his ilk and how he intended to perform his duties going forward if the board’s desire was for him to remain another year as the county administrator.
“Don’t be confused where I stand on this issue,” Johnson said.
“I am appreciative of constructive criticism and I am also appreciative of the disagreements that are brought to me directly from citizens. I love it when a citizen brings an idea or possible solution to the table as there is no one person who knows everything and when you listen to the ideas of others and combine them with your own, creativity takes over and great ideas emerge. I appreciate all who bring ideas and solutions with their complaints or problems. While all ideas may not work, at least some thought went into the solution process,” Johnson said.
He continued, “However, what I am not tolerant of and will never be is the concept of complaints, whining, and defamation that are thrown from behind rocks and come with no viable solution or ideas. I find those comments to be insignificant, nonproductive, and above all a waste of time and energy. As we move toward the end of this year and into a new one, I plan to stick with my current plan of action and direction. And what that plan does not include will be answering to open ended complaints that are in most cases nonfactual or at the very least lacking merit. Complaints that are sent out on the premise of ‘activism for the citizens’ when in reality they are self serving, egotistical and usually ignorant. I will entertain any complaint and I will talk to anyone about anything face to face or on the phone, but for those who wish to chastise from afar with no logical purpose and no solution all for the goofy glory of getting a thumbs up emoji or like on social media…Have not time for it and from this point forward will not acknowledge these complaints. Lead, follow or get out of the way.”
Johnson said that the few people who fit this description are a hindrance and distraction that neither he nor his team needs to acknowledge.
“In the absence of your (critics’) plan, I like mine better. And until this board sees fit to remove me or I remove myself, we will move forward with that plan,” the county administrator said.
Jordan for the last couple of years has been an outspoken critic of the county commission, the Grady County Lake Authority, and the authority’s consultant Will Butler.
He sought election to the District 1 county commission seat currently held by Commissioner June Knight but was defeated in a special election runoff in December 2017.
(See Johnson’s complete statement on Page A4)