Bryan County’s top accountant will also be its top appointed leader beginning July 1, after county commissioners appointed Chief Financial Officer John Grotheer as interim county administrator at the board’s June meeting.
Grotheer will replace Ray Pittman, who announced earlier this year he’s stepping down to start his own engineering firm.
“Ray’s last day is July 11,” said Bryan County Commission Chairman Jimmy Burnsed. “We’ve got interviews going, but as for a potential hire, we may be a few months away from that, so we needed someone in place to take care of the day to day activities of the county. Since John mainly handles the financial end for the county, and since that’s a big part of the job, it’s natural for him to take up the baton and keep it going for us.”
Grotheer, who is originally from Savannah, will continue to be paid his current annual salary of $73,420 while getting a stipend of $1,500 a month for assuming the extra workload.
“For now, I will assume both duties,” said Grotheer, who has been with Bryan County for 2009 and is no stranger to working in local governments.
Prior to arriving in Bryan County, he worked in a similar capacity for Covington in metro Atlanta and has also worked for the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia, the Savannah Chatham Board of Education and the old Savannah Electric and Power Company.
Grotheer said his priorities as interim administrator are to “provide the most cost effective and efficient services to our citizens, to remain financially stable, and to continue our commitment to maintain our rich heritage and outstanding quality of life currently enjoyed by our citizens.”
Grotheer, who said he’ll serve as long as needed, said challenges facing the county center around handling growth.
“The demands of future growth in the areas of water and sewer, roads and public safety are some of the biggest challenges the county is currently facing,” he said. “I am grateful to serve our community in a different capacity and thank our commissioners for their support and confidence in me.
Grotheer has a master's in business administration from Troy State and a bachelor’s in accounting from Savannah State. He’s married to Dr. Diane Drew-Grotheer.
Pittman's time as county administrator was brief. He was hired in October, 2012 and in April announced his resignation from the job that carried with it an annual salary of $107,000.