Advanced Search

12-31-04 Al Crace Leaving as Jackson County Administrator

JACKSON HERALD:  When Crace was contacted on Wednesday morning by The Jackson Herald and questioned about rumors that he was going to resign and that Friday would be his last day as county manager, he denied it.   "I haven't resigned," he said Wednesday. "You know, a lot of stuff goes around. I have not resigned."



December 31, 2004


Crace Leaving is not Surprising


By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc.


Al Crace has a credentialed career.   Controversy has followed him in most of his positions in Northeast GA.  He and Athens-Clarke Mayor Doc Eldridge had some strong differences.  Al is very talented and is “used to running things”.


It is not surprising that Crace is leaving.  Voters soundly rejected the outgoing BOC in the 2004 election.  The Jackson Herald has been very critical of Crace.  It is noteworthy that he denied to the Jackson Herald that he was leaving as late as Wednesday.


Harold Fletcher and his administration may have built a new courthouse.  However, in other ways, it is a black spot in Jackson County History.


AVOC wishes incoming Chair Pat Bell much success in “righting” the “Good Ship Jackson”.

The Jackson Herald



December 31, 2004


Crace resigns Thursday

Denied rumors Wednesday that move was coming


County manager Al Crace resigned in a called Jackson County Board of Commissioners meeting Thursday evening, after denying on Wednesday morning that the move was coming.

The item was not on the agenda for the called BOC meeting. However after all of the agenda items had been handled, Crace announced his resignation and said Friday, Dec. 31, would be his last day on the job.

When Crace was contacted on Wednesday morning by The Jackson Herald and questioned about rumors that he was going to resign and that Friday would be his last day as county manager, he denied it.

"I haven't resigned," he said Wednesday. "You know, a lot of stuff goes around. I have not resigned."

When asked repeatedly if Friday would be his last day as county manager, he said: "No, mam."
When the meeting began, BOC chairman Harold Fletcher said there would be "no surprises" during the meeting. He was apparently referring to a story in an "extra edition" of The Jackson Herald that was on the newsstands Thursday afternoon that referred to the rumors of Crace's resignation.


The Jackson Herald



December 29, 2004    EDITORIAL

Time to rebuild trust

A new year is upon us. With the new year comes new hope for a better Jackson County.
In past years, we have often adopted a list of major goals we believed were important to the citizens of Jackson County.

There are a lot of things that need to be addressed in Jackson County during 2005, but rather than list those individually, we want to focus on the one major goal that is paramount to all the others: The county government must work to rebuild the trust and confidence of county citizens.

Over the past four years, that trust was broken by an inept county administration.
Fed up, citizens revolted in 2004 at the ballot box.
Two incumbents were booted and a third didn’t run for re-election. As a result, a new board of commissioners will take office Jan. 1.

But that is just the first step. Now comes the hard part. This new board will have to make some tough decisions in order to restore the public’s faith in its local government.

What specifically can this new BOC do to rebuild public trust?
We believe there are four items which should be high on that board’s agenda:

• Hire a new county manager. The county government will not be able to chart a new course unless it has new executive leadership.
• Fix the county budget. That will likely mean cutting some expenses. The new board should move quickly to get a realistic budget and then do whatever is necessary to strengthen the county’s financial standing.
• Follow through with the county’s commitment to Toyota. The current administration gave Jackson County a huge black eye when it attempted to undermine county commitments to Toyota for its $00 million industry locating near Pendergrass. The new BOC should make it clear to Toyota and to state officials that Jackson County will stand behind its commitments and do whatever is necessary to make amends for previous leadership failures.

Fix the county BOC structure so that voters have more voice. The current BOC district system did not work over the past four years. Individual commissioners became petty chiefs of their own little fiefdoms. And citizens found that they had little voice in county government because of how the district system splintered the county. That system needs to be modified and the new BOC should get behind legislation to change how county leaders are elected.

There are other important issues that local officials face. Area towns and school systems have before them their own set of challenges. Indeed, 2005 will be a critical year in the life of Jackson County.
But the restoration of public trust in county government has to be the top priority. Without that trust, Jackson County will not be able to move forward.

The Athens Banner-Herald



December 31, 2004

Crace, Jackson manager, resigns

Will form consulting firm

By Allison Floyd

Jackson County Manager Al Crace announced Thursday that he will resign his government post effective today and start his own private consulting company.

Crace, who has managed one government or another in Northeast Georgia since 1988, steered day-to-day operations of Jackson County since 2001, shortly after a government reformation that replaced the three-member Board of Commissioners there with a five-member board and county manager………

Outgoing County Commission Chairman Harold Fletcher, who lost his re-election bid to Pat Bell by a 4,610 vote margin, called Crace "one of the best or one of the most qualified county administrators in the state of Georgia."…………….