Pulaski County Government Leader Leaves for Georgia

By Gangloff, Mike | The Roanoke Times (Roanoke, VA), May 25, 2014 | Go to article overview

Pulaski County Government Leader Leaves for Georgia


Gangloff, Mike, The Roanoke Times (Roanoke, VA)


The most visible assistant administrator in the New River Valley has moved on.

Robert Hiss, Pulaski County's assistant county administrator for the past seven years, finished his job Friday. On June 2 he'll start a new role as an assistant county manager in Georgia, working for the unified government that serves the city of Athens and surrounding Clarke County.

"You do city and county work," Hiss said Thursday about his new position. "? It's full-service is what it is, any government service you can think of."

In Pulaski County, Hiss was something of a governmental jack of all trades whose duties included a stint as the president of the county chamber of commerce and essentially working as the county's human resources director.

He also served as the county's public information officer.

To a degree that is unusual among the region's governments, he became the face ? or at least the voice ? of the county in media reports.

Hiss said that when he arrived in Pulaski County, there was talk about the county and the county school system needing a public information officer.

"Then the recession hit and we never hired anyone. And I guess I got drafted," Hiss said.

He had done media interviews in prior public administration jobs, and Pulaski County sent him to training courses as he took on more public information tasks.

Hiss' highest-profile stint in the public information role came after two tornadoes struck Pulaski County in 2011.

In the immediate aftermath and during a recovery that last until this year, Hiss was the county's point person for the media, answering questions and sending out statements about damages and rebuilding.

"I really try to approach that role as being as genuine a person as I can, and be as accurate as I can be," Hiss said.

Peter Huber, Pulaski County's county administrator, said he appreciated his assistant's work in the spotlight. …

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