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Tattnall Commissioners flip flop, bicker over County Manager Frank Murphy

Tattnall County Commissioners failed to re-appoint long-time county manager Frank Murphy Monday morning during the annual board appointments but after arguing amongst each other, ultimately approved his contract for continued work.

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Commissioner Bubba Burkhalter requested the board appointments, entailing the county manager, county clerk, and county attorney, separately instead of as a single motion.

Commissioner GW Thompson, after a long silence, made the motion but it failed to receive a second. The motion to appoint Frank Murphy as county manager failed.

Murphy asked Commissioners for a reason and Burkhalter said his issue was the budget changes and raises given to employees without commissioner approval.

The point of contention was the changes in salaries for the Tattnall 4H office.

Murphy told Commissioners that the raises were part of the budget, approved by the Commissioners.

Trim said he approved a letter for raise for county offices within the budgets already approved by the commissioners and mentioned he should have brought it before the Commissioners but did not.

Murphy maintained that he cannot be held accountable for the issues Burkhalter brought about.

Burkhalter said he should have voted on the measure regardless and should not have heard about the changes “on the street.”

Trim told Commissioners he was responsible for the mix-up, not the county manager. He and Burkhalter went back and forth on the issue. “We need to blame the right person,” Trim said.

Reporter from the Journal Sentinel, Pam Waters, interjected in the debate and said she agreed with Burkhalter and said the moves showed a lack of transparency.

Dennis Odom asked Commissioners if they were going to allow one misunderstanding about pay raises be the end of the county manager.

Trim said he was arguing in favor of the county manager but here was no second on the motion. “I hope you understand you’re getting rid of the county manager right here right now.”

County Attorney commented that the move would cause “chaos” for the county if there is no county manager. “You’re not going to have people wanting to apply to take the position because of the misunderstanding. Why don’t you do this- appoint him interim, for six months and work on the problems.”

Commissioner Bobby Kennedy said they should have had gone into executive session and Commissioner Tatum said they requested one ahead of the commission meeting.

After nearly 20 minutes of debate, the commissioners abruptly adjourned into an executive session to discuss the matter.

Upon returning, Murphy’s contract was renewed for the year. The motion was made by GW Thompson, seconded by Eddie Kennedy and passed unanimously.

The full video and article will be available on AllOnGeorgia at lunch.

Jessica Szilagyi is a former Statewide Contributor for

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