CHIPLEY — The Washington County Board of County Commissioners were temporarily speechless when County Administrator Steve Joyner tendered his resignation to the board on Thursday morning.
“This is something that has been weighing on me for the past couple of months,” Joyner said, “and I would like to resign my position as county administrator effective tomorrow.”
“This breaks my heart,” Commissioner Todd Abbott said.
“Are you sure this isn’t something you would reconsider, Steve?” asked Chairman Alan Bush.
“It’s not anything any one commissioner has done,” Joyner said. “This is something I’ve considered for a while.”
County Attorney Jeff Goodman said the board should consider calling a special meeting next week to appoint an interim county administrator. “It would be best to regroup, get our thoughts together, then look at appointing an interim administrator.”
Commissioner Joel Pate said he has been on the board since 2006, and Joyner has been the best county administrator the county has ever had.
Abbott made a motion that the commissioners appoint Interim Human Resources Director Albert Davis as interim county administrator, but the motion was voted down 3-2, with Commissioners Lynn Gothard, Bush and Charles Brock voting against.
“No discredit to you, Mr. Davis,” Bush said, “but I don’t think we want to have a knee-jerk reaction.
“I’ve worked with about every county administrator this county has had, and Mr. Joyner has been one of the best,” said Public Services Director David Corbin. “It’s tearing at my heart to stand up here, and this is the first time I have ever done it.
“I appreciate the job you’ve done, and I wish you the best,” Corbin said to Joyner.
Goodman said he had learned quite a bit working with Joyner over the years. “I appreciate everything you’ve done for me, and for my family,” he said to Joyner.
“If I had to rank the jobs in the county, the job of county administrator would have to be one of the most difficult,” Goodman told the commissioners. “Whoever sits in that seat next, deserves your respect.”
“This is one of the biggest losses the county has ever suffered,” County EMS Director Randy Truette said of Joyner’s resignation. “He’s been the very best county manager I ever worked for, and not just in Washington County.”