Jefferson County Commission

Petelos Plans ‘Uncommon Retirement Process’

Jefferson County Manager Tony Petelos approaches retirement. Source: Solomon Crenshaw Jr.

Tony Petelos had planned to have his replacement in place before he retired from his position as Jefferson County manager. But a new county manager has yet to be hired as Petelos counts down to the end of his county career.

The county manager laughed at the notion that the delay in hiring his successor is because it’s so hard to replace him.

“The commission waited,” he said at Tuesday’s committee meeting of the County Commission. “They lost two months before they decided to move forward with hiring somebody to do a national search. For two months, nothing happened.”

Petelos’ last day officially on the job is Friday, June 18. He has vacation days lined up, so he will remain on the payroll for a while. His will be an uncommon retirement process, he said.

“Technically, the way it works is when people retire, we’re still paying them but they’re not here,” he said. “They clean out their desk and they’re gone.

“I’m gonna do mine a little different,” Petelos said. “I’m not gonna clean my desk out. I will come back if they need me on certain things.”

The county manager recalled his bout with cancer and his in-and-out status.

“When I was sick, I was in and out for a year,” he said. “I had to go through chemo, and then three major surgeries and 15 hospitalizations in 12 months.”

Deputy County Managers Cal Markert and Walter Jackson handled management of the county before and will do so again until a replacement is hired. But Petelos will only be a call away.

“Officially I have retired, but I’m on call,” he said. “That’s the best way to say it.”