Originally created 08/17/00

Adams confirms plan to leave



EDGEFIELD, S.C. - County Administrator Wayne Adams confirmed Wednesday that he likely will leave his post in Edgefield to accept a new job in South Carolina's Lowcountry.

Colleton County officials said the Edgefield County administrator is one of three finalists for their county administrator's post. Mr. Adams finished his second interview last week.

The Colleton County Council is holding a special meeting today, possibly to vote on Mr. Adams' contract. He said he intends to take the job if his terms of employment are met.

"I'm not asking Edgefield County to match the kind of salary Colleton County would offer," Mr. Adams said. "This is more about opportunity than money."

Mr. Adams was considered for the Chesterfield County administrator in October, but Edgefield County Council offered him a rolling one-year contract and a raise to $62,000 to stay in Edgefield.

If he's awarded the job in Colleton County, he will make $72,000 a year, with a vehicle for his personal use and $3,000 to move his family. He plans to relocate in Walterboro, the county seat. His home in Edgefield has been on the market for several months.

"I looked at other opportunities, but this one was the most attractive to come along," Mr. Adams said.

Colleton County, located among Charleston, Beaufort, Dorchester and Hampton counties, has a population of 34,000 and a budget of $14 million. Mr. Adams would be in charge of 330 employees.

Edgefield County has a population of 22,000 and a budget of $5 million. There are 100 employees under Mr. Adams.

Mr. Adams, who has been administrator for five years, said the renovation of the county courthouse tops his list of accomplishments. Council members say Mr. Adams also will be remembered for his drive to bring industry into the county.

"Wayne's departure is a loss to the county," said Councilman Sam Speight. "He has excellent vision and was one of the people responsible for record investment in the county by building infrastructure needed to draw industry."

Mr. Speight also emphasized the administrator's fiscal responsibility.

"We've been able to do a number of capital improvements in the county, yet maintain a solid financial position without tax increases," he said.

Chairman Monroe Kneece concurred with his fellow councilman.

"Wayne has done a wonderful job," he said. "I hate to lose him. Edgefield County has come a long way with him."

Reach Katie Throne at (803) 279-6895 or scbureau@augustachronicle.com.