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John Ward was appointed as the County Manager by the Walton County Board of Commissioners on March 1, 2022. He began his tenure in this role on April 4, 2022.
His knowledge, skills, and experiences are well-matched for this position. His professional experience includes serving as City/Town Manager, County Marshal, Planning Director, Police Officer, Firefighter, Park Manager, and Environmental Educator.
With over 20 years of managerial experience, he has a solid track record of working with citizens, elected officials, and government employees to make the vision of the community a reality. Prior to joining Walton County, Ward served as the Town Manager for the Town of Boone, North Carolina, where he was the chief administrator for the Town and responsible for all municipal affairs. He also served as the City Manager and Planning & Zoning Director for Jefferson, Georgia. As the City Manager, he directed the daily operations of the City government per local ordinances and laws and with policies prescribed by the Mayor and Council.
Some of his major accomplishments include successfully executing the $42 million Boone Water Intake and Water Treatment Plant Upgrade project, Boone’s largest infrastructure project in the Town’s history. He also partnered with the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country to restore Boone’s downtown 600 seat historic theatre providing cultural programming for the community. In Jefferson, GA, John successfully built the 100 acre Mayor Jim Joiner Recreation Complex, the Jefferson Civic Center, the Jefferson Public Library, and the Jefferson Police Department.
John’s success is attributed to his dedication to professional development. He holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbus State University and a Bachelor of Science in Education with a concentration in Natural Resource Management from the University of Georgia. He also belongs to several professional organizations, such as the International City/County Management Association as a Credentialed Manager. In the past, he has been a member of the North Carolina City & County Management Association, Georgia City-County Management Association, Georgia Academy for Economic Development, Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, International Code Council, and the Georgia Recreation & Parks Association.
John, his wife, and two sons are excited to become a part of the Walton County community. They look forward to participating in community events and getting to know the residents, businesses, and visitors to Walton County.