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Adams County administrator to retire in September

NATCHEZ — Adams County Administrator Joe Murray, who has been serving the county for nearly 10 years, announced Monday he would retire at the end of September.

“I’ve asked (the board of supervisors) to let me stay through Sept. 30 unless they need me to leave before then,” Murray said. “I’d like to help them finish this budget and help the next person.”

Murray said he has worked a little more than nine years with the Adams County Board of Supervisors after having served the Mississippi State Tax Commission for 19 years.

“This will be my 11th budget, and I’ve got a little over 30 years with the state and the county,” Murray said. “It’s time to do something different and I have a few irons in the fire.”

Murray said he plans to take a brief break before helping at his family’s accounting business.

“I’m excited. It’s scary to make that decision (to retire) but I have such a sense of peace over it. … If they need me, pick up the phone and call me and I’ll help,” he said.

Murray said the next budget would be challenging — partly because of the COVID-19 pandemic — and he would stay in Natchez to help the county board if needed.

“The budget is a complicated process but the process does get easier over the years. This year it’s going to be a challenge, but every budget has its own challenges,” Murray said.

During a regularly scheduled meeting of the Adams County Board of Supervisors on Monday, the board voted unanimously to begin advertising for Murray’s replacement.

“I have not thought of anyone else for the position and we approved (Monday) to advertise for that position,” said Angela Hutchins, who is serving her third term as District 3 Supervisor. “My thoughts are, there comes a time when everyone knows when it’s  time to go and you’ve fulfilled what you are doing. I’ve always told him when he brought (retirement) up, ‘You’ve got to do what is best for you.’”

Hutchins said with Murray’s retirement the county would be losing a huge asset.

“I’ve been here 31 years, and he’s one of the best county administrators that we’ve had,” Hutchins said. “He’s a great asset to Adams County and I’m going to hate losing him. … I wish him good luck in all of his plans and future endeavors.”

Wes Middleton, who just began his first term as District 1 Supervisor in January, said Murray has been a huge help to him with learning the job during his first six months as supervisor

“I hate to lose Joe and he has done a great job for as long as I’ve been there,” Middleton said. “As an incoming supervisor, those are the type of people you want to have around and I hate to lose him during my first six months. He has done a fabulous job for the county. … Our job now is to find someone suitable to fill his shoes.”