Bibb County Chief Administrative Officer Steve Layson came up short in his bid to become the county manager of York County, S.C.
During a late Monday night vote, the county council voted unanimously to offer the position to Bill Shanahan, the deputy administrator for Augusta.
Layson and Shanahan were selected last week as the top finalists out of a field of five. According to The Rock Hill Herald, the council chose them as the finalists because of their experience in county government.
Layson, who has served as Bibb County CAO for eight years, said he was disappointed to be passed over, but happy to stay in Bibb County.
My hearts here, he said. Some things arent meant to be, and they happen the way they should. Well have to see what happens next. It was a good opportunity, and (the council) picked a really good guy. They said it was tough -- they went back and forth with it. They had agreed (no matter who got the job), they would make it unanimous.
Like other department heads with Macon and Bibb County, Layson will have to reapply for his job in March after the new consolidated government takes over in January.
Layson said most city and county employees are nervous at the prospect of merging and what it might mean for their job, but everyone will have a better idea of where they stand after the election Sept. 17.
I think well all breathe easier after the election because well know who will be running the government, he said.
Layson said he would look at other opportunities if the right job came along, but also is content to stay here.
While there are other similar positions that are currently open, Layson said he would only apply for positions in communities that have their act together, have a stable organizational chart and are financially strong.
Im blessed to have the options I do, Layson said, noting that with his children all grown up, he doesnt have to be tied to one area. Im upbeat. I can hold my head up high. Ill do what I can for the employees we have here ... because we cant do it without them.
To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.