Originally created 03/10/99

Administrator opts to stay in Edgefield



EDGEFIELD, S.C. -- Edgefield County Administrator Wayne Adams is one of four finalists for Darlington County administrator, but he has taken himself out of the running.

Mr. Adams acknowledged Tuesday he had been interested in the $60,000-a-year job and the opportunity to manage a larger county government.

"My interest in Darlington County was partly about the prospect of progressing to a larger county," Mr. Adams said. "My conclusion was that bigger is not always better."

Mr. Adams said he also was motivated by curiosity about his "standing in the job market," but he said his job satisfaction in Edgefield County was very high.

The position in Darlington County came open in October after Jim Schaefer left the job to become Lexington County's public information director. Still in the running are Orangeburg County Administrator David Bushyager and Russell Haws of Rock Hill,. Darlington City Administrator Rodney Langley withdrew from contention last week, according to The Messenger, a Hartsville newspaper.

In a telephone interview, Mr. Schaefer said he left the administrator's office in Darlington because it was time to move on. Political divisions on the Darlington County Council played a part in his decision, he said.

"A lot of things enter into any decision, and a divided council was one factor in making my decision," Mr. Schaefer said.

Mr. Adams would not comment directly on political rifts on the Darlington County Council.

But he indicated the lack of such divisions helped him make up his mind to remain in Edgefield County.

"The leadership in Edgefield County is progressive and unified. That's not the case in every South Carolina county," he said.

Still, the position in Darlington County could have been seen as advancement for Mr. Adams. It would have meant overseeing a budget of nearly $20 million and direct supervision of 18 people. At present, Mr. Adams manages a county budget of nearly $6 million and supervises 25 employees.

"There is a lot on my plate right here that is very appetizing from a professional standpoint," he said, noting that the countywide zoning project begins this month and property tax reassessment is under way.

Pat Willis covers North Augusta, Horse Creek Valley and Edgefield County for The Augusta Chronicle. She may be reached at (803) 279-6895 or scbureau@augustachronicle.com.