FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Doug Derrer begins his interim role as Forsyth County Manager this week, his second stint in the position. Derrer served in the role from 2008 to 2017.
He replaces Eric Johnson, who was hired when Derrer retired in 2017.
Derrer joined Forsyth in 2008 as a deputy county manager. He then served as interim county manager from September 2008 to March 2009 before being named to the post full time. Prior to his long stint with Forsyth County, Derrer had roles as the public works director, public safety director and warden in Hall County. He also served as city manager for Flowery Branch and as a police officer in Florida’s Miami-Dade County.
The county chose not to renew its contract with Johnson in August. After an executive session of the Board of Commissioners, the board voted unanimously to part ways with Johnson.
The move to replace Johnson comes a year after the board approved a cryptic agenda item related to performance standards of the county manager.
During two board meetings in 2019, commissioners approved an agenda item labeled, “Board authorization to implement the action discussed at the June 20, 2019 Executive Session” without any discussion or explanation.
After an inquiry from the Herald newspaper, the board addressed the item with added details at a meeting on July 18, 2019. This time, the agenda reflected that the item related to the formation of a performance evaluation process to “continually assess County Manager job performance” by a director, department head, constitutional officer and key stakeholder. However, the item was listed under the consent agenda and again passed board approval without any discussion among county staff or elected representatives.
The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to approve its contract with Derrer at its Sept. 3 meeting. Under the agreement, the county can end Derrer’s contract at any time and he can opt out of the role at any time with a 30-day notice. The contract is set to expire Dec. 31 but can be extended by commissioners. The county manager role comes with an annual salary of $228,000.