But it was a long journey to get there.
Kennedy, who retired in July as garrison commander at Fort Gordon, was approved Tuesday by Columbia County commissioners for the newly created position of deputy county administrator.
“This is great,” said Kennedy, who is scheduled to start Feb. 1. “I’ve spent the last 25 years of my life serving my country, and now I can come back to where it all started.”
A graduate of Evans High School and North Georgia College, Kennedy served 25 years in the Army, including his final two years at Fort Gordon as a colonel. He previously served as a battalion commander with the 17th Signal Battalion in Iraq, and with the White House communications agency.
As deputy administrator, serving with Administrator Scott Johnson, Kennedy will have a key role in overseeing the county’s federally funded project to expand broadband access throughout the community.
“We are very fortunate to have somebody of this caliber as the Columbia County deputy administrator,” said Johnson, a Harlem High School graduate who joked about the schools’ historical cross-county rivalry.
The new position pays $89,000 per year; Johnson, who took over on probationary status after the retirement of longtime Administrator Steve Szablewski last fall, also received full approval Tuesday for the job at $119,000 per year.
Also Tuesday, commissioners approved a resolution asking local lawmakers to call a referendum in which voters would be able to limit commissioners and the chairman to two four-year terms in office. If approved, the restrictions would prevent the same person from taking office as commissioner or chairman again until he or she sat out for at least one year.
Commissioners also unanimously approved a motion to set July 31 as the date for a referendum to allow voters to decide on the sale of package alcohol on Sundays. If voters approve, sales would begin Labor Day weekend.
Voters in the city of Grovetown already have approved the area’s first Sunday package sales, which began Dec. 11.