FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Forsyth County will not renew its contract with County Manager Eric Johnson. The Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Aug. 6 to part ways with Johnson and nominate former County Manager Doug Derrer to serve in an interim role until a full-time replacement is hired.
Johnson has served as county manager since 2017, replacing Derrer, who announced his retirement after serving in the role since 2009. Johnson’s contract was set to expire in early September.
Commissioners entered an executive session at the Aug. 6 meeting to discuss bringing on Derrer and whether there were any other candidates to serve as acting county manager. After about 20 minutes, board members reconvened in open session and were unanimous in their support for Derrer.
Johnson did not return to the meeting following the executive session.
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.
Commissioners did not disclose how much Derrer will be paid for his interim service. Johnson’s annual salary was $207,430.
The move to replace Johnson comes a little over 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.
At a subsequent meeting on July 18, 2019, the agenda did clarify 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 without any discussion among county staff or elected representatives.