New Jasper Administrator on the Job
Kreuzwieser, Mark, Public Management
Jasper County, South Carolina's new administrator, Andrew Fulghum, started work on Monday [June 7, 2004] and by Tuesday had already taken a tour of the new county detention center, attended a county council meeting, met with department heads, and held an informal news conference with reporters.
He's also sent a "letter of introduction" to all county employees. Fulghum said that two new meetings that he is adding to the administrator's schedule will be a weekly staff meeting and a weekly get-together with local reporters.
He told reporters he is a "professional manager" and promises to follow the International City/County Management Association's Code of Ethics, including effective and democratic local government, excellence in government services, honor and integrity in public and personal relationships, and making sure that the chief function of government is to serve the best interests of all people. "I am sort of a Boy Scout in my following the ICMA's Code of Ethics," Fulghum said.
When asked about the county's adherence to state open meetings and public information laws, Fulghum said that he will make this a priority. He said that, if there is a problem with the county's following state laws, it is probably a matter of misunderstanding and perception.
"But if we have the perception that meetings are not being conducted correctly or that citizens are not being made a part of the process, then we have a problem that can be solved." he said. Fulghum, who is 38 and most recently was city administrator for Frostburg, Maryland, said he has studied, written, and spoken about public records and open-meetings laws for many years.
For years, the Jasper County Council and other local public governing bodies and staffs have had difficulty with South Carolina's Freedom of Information Act, which restricts elected bodies' ability to meet in secret and mandates rules and regulations for the release of public records. …