KINGWOOD — Long- time Preston County Administrator Kathy Mace is retiring July 1.
Mace took the job in April 2007. Her last day will be June 30, although she has agreed to contract with the county commission to help her replacement part-time as needed for a year.
On Monday, she and County Commissioners Dave Price, Don Smith and Samantha Stone discussed the help wanted ad that will soon run.
“It’s time,” Mace said. At 67, she wants to spend more time with her family — a second grandchild is on the way — and friends.
“I will say that it’s been a privilege. I’ve really enjoyed my work,” she said. “It’s been challenging at times. It’s been exciting. Fulfilling. It’s been nice that they’ve given me an opportunity to do my job, working more as partners in things, them doing what they were good at and me doing what I was good at.”
Price worked with Mace prior to her being administrator, when they both were at WFSP Radio.
He said commissioners will be looking for, “Somebody with [Mace’s] knowledge and determination and work ethic,” in a replacement. “She loves Preston County and she knows a lot about Preston County and its people, so there are so many things that we don’t have to tell her about when we’re working on something. She understands where to go with it.”
He noted all of Mace’s career, which included being administrator of the Preston County Chamber of Commerce, a county commissioner, Kingwood council member and a radio reporter, served the people of Preston County.
Commissioner Smith said he is happy for Mace.
Price said they hope Mace will stay on as a consultant for at least a year.
“There’s nothing to say that maybe one person is going to fill that spot,” Price said. “We’ll know in that first year, as she’s working with them, what we need to change.”
Stone, who took office Jan. 1, has worked only a short time with Mace, whom she referred to as, “a fountain of knowledge” and a “safety belt” for the commission. “Being blind sided is no fun,” Price said, so having someone like Mace keep an eye on things is good.
“At first I was like, we’re never going to be able to replace her. But I think after dissecting the job description time and time again, and looking at it, I really feel it’s just going to take a combination of several things to make the new position, and I feel that person is out there,” Stone said. “Change is good.”
Mace said that someone will bring in “new energy.”
“This is a big job,” Mace noted. “And one that requires a lot of your energy and resources. But I’m excited to start a new adventure.”
Mace makes $62,000 a year. No salary has been set for her replacement.