He was there all the time

-A A +A

A South Marion Citizen editorial

Some time ago, Dr. Lee Niblock announced his resignation as the Marion County administrator. He was accepting a similar job in Alachua County.
That set the wheels in motion to replace him in the county’s top job.
A lot of money was spent in a nationwide search, and the delays were many. Finally, commission members settled on some finalists, and from that group one man was chosen as the top candidate.
He had some baggage, though, that the media first made public by pointing out he had left his last job under a cloud of accusations of inappropriate conduct, although those charges were never substantiated.
So despite deciding on one man, the commission voted to continue its search, leaving that one candidate twisting in the wind. He eventually took a job elsewhere.
An interim administrator had named, but he was shot down by the commissioners in the Confederate Flag flap, and soon resigned.
Commissioners then turned to assistant administrator Mounir Bouyounes to be the interim choice.
As it turns out, the search could have stopped right there, saving the taxpayers time and money.
This week the county made it official, naming Bouyounes as the permanent administrator.
Our only question is: What took so long? The top choice was sitting at meetings about 15 feet away from the commissioners.
It was apparent to many of those who follow county government, ourselves included, that right from the first meeting in which he sat in the administrator’s chair, Bouyounes was right for the job.
It would have been a lot cheaper if the commissioners had realized that.
Meanwhile there were some finalists for the job who spent time writing cover letters and resumes, and presumably took the time to research the county. We apologize to them on behalf of all county residents and hope they won’t think less of our county.
And, since their names were public record, we hope the fact that they applied for another job, one which never should have been advertised, doesn’t hurt them in their present employment.
We wish all the best for Bouyounes. We feel he will prove to be the correct choice.