The board also named Virginia Martin as assistant to the interim county manager. Martin had previously held the position of assistant to the city manager but her job was eliminated about eight months ago due to budget cuts.
Whalen will receive a salary of $75,000 per year plus benefits. Martin’s salary will be $70,000 per year without benefits, the board announced.
Until a new county manager is in place, Whalen will continue his position as chief appraiser and serve as interim county manager, thus essentially working two jobs.
Whalen said he was surprised when he learned of the board’s decision Friday morning. While serving in his new role, he said he wants to “provide some stability to the board” and help commissioners accomplish whatever goals they have.
“He’s well-qualified. He’s a Spalding County native and knows a lot of people in the county,” said Commissioner Eddie Freeman, adding that Whalen’s knowledge of county government is impressive.
While serving as interim county manager, Whalen will have the same powers and authorities that a county manager has, which could include hiring and terminating employees, Freeman said.
Asked if Whalen’s appointment as interim county manager could make him a candidate for the position of county manager, Freeman said Whalen would be considered if he applies.
Whalen confirmed that he has already submitted an application for the county manager position.
This position should be filled soon, Freeman said.
“Hopefully we can hire a county manager within 30 to 90 days. I understand we got quite some applicants,” he said.