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Polk manager mobilized with Army Reserves

Published 1:04pm Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Leave could be one to three years

Polk County will soon be without its permanent manager for at least one year, possibly three years.

Polk County Manager Ryan Whitson announced to county commissioners on Monday, Nov. 19 that he was selected to be the Command Sergeant Major of the 1st Training Brigade of the United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (A).

Whitson said it is a mobilized position with his duty station at Fort Dix, N.J.

Whitson, who has been in the U.S. Army Reserves for approximately 27 years, said he was notified on Oct. 28 of his new position.

“My mobilization order is to begin Feb. 6, 2013,” Whitson told commissioners. “The order is to be for one year. There is a strong possibility that there will be another one-year mobilization order, which will keep me on active duty until Feb. 5, 2015. There is a possibility of a third year as well, although not as likely.”’

Whitson said he plans to return to Polk County following his orders.

“It is my full intention to return to Polk County soon after I finish my mobilization in accordance with applicable federal law to resume the position and duties of county manager of Polk County,” he said.

Whitson was hired as Polk’s manager in 2007.

Polk County Commissioner Chair Ray Gasperson said Whitson’s strong leadership has left the county in great shape.

“I couldn’t speak more highly of him,” said Gasperson. “In the four years I’ve been on the board Ryan Whitson has been an excellent county manager who has helped keep Polk County financially stable and well run through this great recession we’ve gone through.”

Gasperson said the county is in great financial shape with a healthy fund balance and effective and stable county employees who do their jobs very well and efficiently. The county’s tax rate is low with many issues being taken care of over the last few years such as building needs, he added.

“We’ve had strong leadership from Ryan,” Gasperson said.

Whitson said he will be on annual training orders from Nov. 26 through Dec. 20 and again from Jan. 8 through Feb. 5, 2013, which will be at Fort Bragg, N.C. He said he will be traveling to Fort Dix during some of that time.

He plans to work for Polk County Dec. 27 and 28 and Jan. 2 through Jan. 4 in order to assist an interim county manager.

“I greatly appreciate your support of my military obligations and for your support of the United States Army Reserve and our military,” Whitson told commissioners.

Commissioners will begin their search for an interim manager soon.

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