Bouyounes named county administrator

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Commission makes choice

Marion County Commissioners have found their new county administrator. Acting County Administrator Mounir Bouyounes will officially assume the county’s top administrative role in January at a regular commission meeting.
The County Commission tapped Bouyounes for the job on Monday during a public meeting. The meeting was scheduled to discuss qualifications and rankings of three external finalists identified from a nationwide recruitment process. This was the commission’s second recruitment effort for the position, after the initial one did not yield a selection either.
“After a most comprehensive and thorough recruitment process, it became very clear to us that Mr. Bouyounes is the most qualified professional for the job,” said Commission Chairman Kathy Bryant. “He has demonstrated exemplary leadership while serving in the acting role, and will bring the most qualified skillset to this position. We are very excited to welcome him as our new county administrator.”
In his new role, Bouyounes will oversee implementation of commission policies and directives, participate in the county budget process, and supervise daily operations for 21 departments and three offices.
“I am honored and humbled by the Board’s confidence in me to serve as its new administrator,” said Bouyounes, who holds a professional engineer designation. “I appreciate the opportunity to continue working alongside a very talented team of county leaders and staff, and look forward to moving forward and continuing to serve our community as best as possible.”
Bouyounes joined Marion County government in 1993, was promoted through the ranks to the role of County Engineer in 2003 and then in 2011 to the dual role of County Engineer and Assistant County Administrator. He has served in the acting role since the August departure of the former interim county administrator.
Bouyounes’ contract will be negotiated and brought to the Board for consideration and approval during the Jan. 12 commission meeting.
The county started its search earlier this year when Dr. Lee Niblock resigned to take a similar post in Alachua County. The search produced some finalists, and one of those was chosen, but although the list had been cut to one man, the county decided to continue its search. That finalist then was the subject of stories that noted that he had left his previous job after being accused of inappropriate behavior, and he then took a job elsewhere.
Recently the county announced a new set of finalists, but then made the decision late Monday to offer the position to Bouyounes, who, when he was named interim administrator, had indicated he would not be a candidate for the permanent position.