It appears Henry County is headed toward a change in the title and salary of its top financial employee.
The county’s Personnel Policies and Procedures Committee agreed Thursday to create the position of chief financial officer (CFO), which will be the old accounts and budget director’s position, but with a new name.
Pat Hollingsworth, who has held the job since 2000, would basically become the second-in-command in county government if the change is approved by the full County Commission.
County Mayor Brent Greer, who is leaving office next month after announcing his resignation in July, has developed what he calls a transition plan for some changes that are aimed to help his incoming replacement — whoever wins the election for mayor Nov. 3.
As part of that plan, Greer had suggested promoting Hollingsworth to a position of director of finance/vice mayor — a promotion to a job that she has already been doing, for all intents and purposes, Greer said.
During discussion of what the new title should be, Greer said he had used the phrase “vice mayor” simply because “conceptually, that’s what she would be. She would be the person who reports directly to the budget committee and the mayor. Pat is already the one who has had to make decisions in my absence many times.”
“I feel that she has the skills that are needed for this. She’s able to jump in and answers the tough questions, from what I’ve seen,” committee member Jerry Berry said.
Hollingsworth already has been handling duties in areas like insurance, workmen’s compensation, payroll, purchasing and personnel/human resources. This would just make those duties part of her official job description, Greer said.
She is expected to be a help during the transition to a new mayor.
“We’ve got to have somebody to make sure things run smoothly,” committee member Drew Williams said.
“This is an important position, and it needs to be a non-politicized position,” Greer said, pointing out that if Hollingsworth decided for some reason to leave, he didn’t think the county could hire anyone at her current salary to fill that job well.
“The salary we’re paying now is not competitive with the surrounding market,” Greer said.
The Policies and Procedures Committee had no input on the salary issue, but the Budget Committee discussed on Tuesday a plan to raise her from her current $55,991 annual salary to $65,000.
There also would be step raises of $2,500 a year, beginning in the 2021-22 fiscal year until the position’s salary aligns with that of the county administrator of elections, which is currently $72,602.