Of the seven men who serve on the Glynn County Commission, only two voted sensibly — Commissioners Bill Brunson and Cap Fendig — on the early release of County Manager Alan Ours. They realize the asset Ours has been to the Golden Isles and desired for him to stay on until his retirement.
Commission Chairman Wayne Neal and Commissioners Allen Booker, David O’Quinn, Walter Rafolski and Sammy Tostensen felt otherwise. While agreeing to pay Ours his salary up until his announced retirement date, Aug. 27, they wanted him out and voted accordingly. They effectively ended his management of the county’s funds, departments, services and employees a day before Easter weekend.
What a tremendous loss to the community. While it has not been all smooth sailing, Ours has steered the county out of some rough seas and difficult times. He got the county back on its feet following bruising brushes with hurricanes and has managed government and county funds well during the COVID-19 pandemic. No one could ask for better leadership.
When announcing his voluntary departure from county government following 10 years at the helm, Ours said a decade was long enough. He was ready for whatever other challenges might be out there.
Because of his love of the Golden Isles, he was willing to stay on until late summer. That would give the commission and its newest members more time to exercise patience in their selection of the man or woman who will take over. What more could any boss ask for — months to search for and find the best person for the job.
Veteran Commissioner Brunson, a former chairman of the commission, noted that taxpayers were paying him to stay on as manager until Aug. 27. To him, they might as well reap the benefits of his experience and skills at budgeting and managing county services.
Commissioner Fendig viewed it as a plus for the community to keep him on until his departure.
Obviously the other five felt differently. The quick interpretation is that they foresee a time when their proposals or plans will clash with his management philosophy, if that has not happened already. Ours apparently began feeling the same way after the election of new commissioners, who sided with the chairman and others that his accrued knowledge was no longer needed.
The hope now is that the decision to end his career with Glynn County months earlier doesn’t come back to haunt us.