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Meredith named county’s ‘second-in-command’

Commissioner Mitch Meredith said serving as Washington County’s first director of finance and administration wasn’t on his five-year plan, but he is excited about the role he will take on next week.
Mayor Dan Eldridge announced his selection of Meredith during the January commission meeting, noting he had received a large number of applicants. “The combination of his financial management experience, technical qualifications and capability, and a high degree of familiarity and understanding of Washington County government’s operations and finances qualified Mitch as the best candidate for this position.”
Meredith will provide oversight of the county’s daily financial operations, which has always rested solely with the mayor. Additional duties will involve the implementation and conversion to a new enterprise accounting software system; development of a comprehensive risk management program; and ongoing assurance of compliance with regulatory and statutory requirements.
A certified public accountant, Meredith serves as chief financial officer of Colonial Corp. His first day as a member of the county staff will be Monday, Feb. 9.
“What really intrigued me is the system conversion,” he said, referring to one of his first responsibilities. “It’s not going to be an easy task, and it will be important to the county for the next 10 to 15 years.”
Several weeks will be required to evaluate the responses to the county’s request for proposals for a financial management system. Vendors are scheduled for demonstrations of their software, and officials and key employees are being encouraged to attend to offer input in the evaluation process.
“I hope to make the officials fully aware the primary purpose of the new system is to assist them in their financial and administrative needs,” Meredith said. “A case in point is bringing the system online so they will have real-time information about their budgets.”
He also plans to sit down with Eldridge to develop a working list of priorities. Meredith will continue serving as a county commissioner for the 3rd District.
Commission Chair Greg Matherly said he was pleased when Meredith called to tell him he was accepting the position.
“It’s not a job for the weak of heart,” he said. “You’re talking about the second-in-command for the operation of county government.”
Matherly said the administration aspect includes a vast array of responsibilities, from construction projects to maintenance of county buildings. “Mitch has his work cut out for him, and I wish him all the best.”
Meredith said he looks forward to lending his skill set to addressing all of the challenges. “I think the county is moving in a good direction,” he said. “There will be some bumps in the road, but we’re doing the best thing for Washington County for the long term.”