Columbia County is looking to hire a new division director, while its newest director comes under criticism.
County Administrator Scott Johnson said the new Director of Planning was advertised in local and national publications this week. The director will be in charge of reviewing new planning and zoning applications as well as reviewing all the county’s current zonings and long-term development plans.
The director will take over some responsibilities from Deputy Administrator Glenn Kennedy, who
has been in that role since planning and zoning was split apart from the Development Services Division last year.
“We hope to find a candidate who can understand the private side as well as the government side of development,” Johnson said.
He is hoping to find a qualified person from outside of the area to file the position within 90 days, although it could take longer.
“I am more concerned with finding the right person for the job than just filling the job,” he said.
Johnson said they had found the “right person” for the Development Services director position in Paul Scarbary, who dropped his “interim director” title after he was confirmed by commissioners last month.
Scarbary, who was previously facilities services manager, stepped in to fill Richard Harmon’s place after he abruptly resigned in October.
Scarbary’s hiring, however, is not sitting well with everyone. Last Thursday, the county’s Construction Advisory Board effectively gave Scarbary a vote of “no confidence” when they approved a request to make it a requirement that the person in that job be qualified as a Certified Building Official.
Scarbary has years of experience in construction but only holds a general contractor’s license. Construction Advisory Board Chairman Mark Herbert said Harmon held the CBO certification and his replacement should also.
“Why wouldn’t you want a Certified Building Official to oversee the county’s building department,” he said.