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Grayson picks Sweet for administrator

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By Ben Bomberger, Reporter

INDEPENDENCE — Former Grayson County High School student Jonathan Sweet will return home to take over as county administrator on June 1.

Sweet — who has spent the last six years working as Bland County administrator — was one of 30 applicants for the job to replace 27-year veteran of the county Bill Ring.

Ring is set to retire at the end of May.

In total, 19 applicants were interviewed, which Supervisors’ Chairman Mike Maynard said was “an outstanding” pool. Applications were received from all over the eastern half of the United States.

Vice Chairman Larry Bartlett, Maynard and Supervisor Brenda Sutherland made up the hiring committee.

After the interviews, the list was narrowed down to five. Three were then brought to the entire board at its regular meeting March 12.

Sweet is a graduate of Radford University, and has worked in local government since obtaining his degree. On June 1, he will become only the third county administrator in Grayson’s history, after Ring and Don Young.

“The county has not had a long history of county administrators,” Maynard said. “There have only been two. We are in a habit of keeping county administrators for a long time, and we look forward to a long relationship with Jonathan and his family.”

Several of Sweet’s family members were on hand for the announcement Monday night.

Bartlett motioned to appoint Sweet as county administrator with a beginning salary of $80,000.

Bartlett said it was a pleasure to nominate a man that he had spoken with several years ago, asking about his interest in returning to Grayson one day.

“Finally, I have the pleasure of being able to nominate Jonathan Sweet as county administrator of Grayson County,” Bartlett said in his motion. “We thank you for your application, and acceptance.”

The motion was seconded by Supervisor Doug Carrico and passed unanimously.

“Jonathan comes with a lot of tools,” Maynard said. “Probably the greatest of which is his family sitting here.”

Among his family present were his wife Natalie, son Silas and daughter Palyn.

Sweet then approached the board members and addressed them for the first time. “It’s a pleasure to stand before you and address you. It’s an honor to have been selected by such a body as yourselves.”

In speaking about his previous conversation with Bartlett years ago, Sweet said, “timing was the issue… and I think the timing is right now.”

Sweet added that he looked forward to partnering with the all the boards throughout the county, as well as the citizens and the staff to work together for success.

While the decision to leave Bland was challenging, Sweet said he feels it is the right choice. “I feel confident this is the place I need to be. I’ll serve [the board] well… and the citizens of Grayson County well. I look forward to coming over here and doing the best job that I know how to do.”

Sweet was expected to give his official notice to the Bland board of supervisors on March 24.