County administrator search starting over

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Ours rejects council’s offer

Beaufort County’s year-long search for a permanent county administrator is about to begin anew.

The County Council voted at its most recent meeting to offer the position to Glynn County, Ga., administrator Alan Ours, who rejected the offer. 

The offer didn’t come without a splash of the drama that has marked the entire search. A majority of council members initially voted for former interim county administrator Josh Gruber, who recently took a new job as the Town of Hilton Head Island’s assistant town manager, only to retract the vote and instead agree to offer the position to Ours.

But Ours rejected the offer, citing his family’s desire to stay in Brunswick, resetting the process that began nearly a year ago. 

Longtime administrator Gary Kubic retired in September, and Gruber was widely considered the favorite to take over after serving as deputy county administrator since Sept. 2014. Gruber took over the interim role following Kubic’s departure and was one of three finalists in the initial search for a full-time replacement in 2017 but did not have enough support among a split council to receive an offer.

County attorney Tom Keaveny took over as interim county administrator after Gruber’s departure July 20, and now it looks as if his tenure will be extended indefinitely.

Council Chairman Paul Sommerville said there are no immediate plans to take additional action. With tension among the existing board members, the process is likely to continue through the November election cycle, when four new council members will be elected.

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