Major changes happening in Clayton County - CBS46 News

Major changes happening in Clayton County

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CLAYTON COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

One day into a new administration and there's already been a shake-up in Clayton County leadership. The new commission chairman and members of the board ousted the county manager.

Chairman Jeff Turner knows the county has an image problem.

"Part of my vision for this county is to rebrand it, change the image, showcase more of the positive things going on in this county," Turner said.

That vision started with the firing of County Manager Wade Starr. The commission voted to oust him in a 3 to 2 vote Wednesday night. Turner wants to change that position all together, bringing in someone of his choosing and transferring the power back to the chairman's office. 

"I think we need a clear-cut chain of command and I think that starts with this position because the people of this county elected a chairman to be in charge of the administrative duties and the day-to-day operations," Turner said.

Two commissioners disagreed, including Sonia Singleton. Starr will be paid through the rest of his contract. That's roughly $90,000. 

"As a commissioner, I'm going to stick to what I believe in. I didn't think we needed to pay out a county manager when he could have worked and offered a lot to the county. I'm very concerned about how we're spending it here and I think tonight we're wasting the taxpayers' money," Singleton said.

More of the taxpayers' money will pay for a forensic audit of the county.

"It's not any kind of witch hunt. A forensic audit is a way of being fiscally responsible," Turner said.

But Turner also said being new to the commission, he'd be foolish not to take a look at the county's finances.

"Ultimately I am responsible for the budget for the day-to-day operations of this county and I want to be fiscally responsible for that," Turner said.

Starr responded to CBS Atlanta on Thursday. He said he wasn't surprised by the change. He offered to help with the transition and wished the new commission success.

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