Day in the Life of County Jobs

County Administrator Ron Cink

By Crystal Cole/Islander Editor
Posted 5/6/17

Editor’s note: This is the second article in a multi-part series on a day in the life of county jobs.

There’s no such thing as an average day for County Administrator Ron Cink because he …

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Day in the Life of County Jobs

County Administrator Ron Cink

Posted

Editor’s note: This is the second article in a multi-part series on a day in the life of county jobs.

There’s no such thing as an average day for County Administrator Ron Cink because he never knows what each day might bring.

“I just dealt with the Department of the Navy on the USS Peterson bell at the Foley Courthouse,” Cink said. “I could be dealing with any of the municipalities or the state. I can touch everything from soup to nuts, everything this county is involved in. From Fort Morgan all the way up to Little River, if it’s in Baldwin County, we’ve probably got a hand in it somewhere.”

As administrator, Cink has a wide portfolio of responsibilities that touch almost every part of county government.

“One of the major factors is to dot the Is and cross the Ts of the county’s business,” Cink said. “The others is to manage 60 employees that are directly under me and to work with my peers, the other appointed directors. We direct and counsel the commissioners on any questions they may have regarding activities within the county.”

Working with the other department heads is something Cink takes seriously, as he tries to provide support and help however he can.

Baldwin County Commission Chairman Chris Elliott said Cink has been an asset to the county as more than just a county administrator.

“Ron does a good job setting the tenor for the staff,” Elliott said. “He really understands how important morale is. While most of our county employees don’t even directly report either to Ron or through Ron, he’s taken on a role as chief morale officer as well. He does a good job with that, as well as flawlessly performing administrator duties.”

Cink has been with the county for 11 years, starting in January 2006 as a budget accountant.

“I worked that for about a year, but my boss had hired me because he was going to retire,” Cink said. “When he moved out of that position, I moved into budget director and I’m still doing that.”

In November 2014, Cink came on board as interim county administrator doing dual roles, and in October 2015, he was named county administrator and continued doing both roles.

“I’m responsible for the presentation and compilation of the budget to the commissioners for adoption,” Cink said. “That’s another part of my job that’s incredibly important and something that has to be monitored throughout the year.”

Elliott said serving in both roles represents a cost savings to the county, but also allows the county to still rely on Cink’s incredible expertise.

“He wears both of those hats very well and understands this county’s budget at a microscopic level,” Elliott said. “He and Kim Creech track every penny to the penny, and the state auditors use this county as an example on how to do things from a financial standpoint. He’s a numbers guy, but a people person, too, and those rarely come together in quite such a package.”

Cink said he thoroughly enjoys his position because it always has something new for him to see or work on.

“There is never a dull moment throughout the day,” Cink said. “It comes in waves. There may be times where I have a little down time, but then I’ll be absolutely swamped with four different activities I have to manage at the same time.”

Cink said one of his main goals is always making sure to respond with help and assistance to people as quickly as possible.

“I like to attempt to complete every task I can within a reasonable amount of time,” Cink said. “I think accomplishing tasks in a timely manner and providing feedback to those who request it is an integral part of this job, and I take it seriously.”

As Cink is appointed to his job by the county commission, he also has to make sure he’s adequately addressing the questions and needs of those four elected officials, which he said can be challenging at times.

“There’s four unique individuals up there,” Cink said. “I’m not saying that tongue in cheek. To run for county commission in a county this size, they represent an area they live in so they all have different viewpoints on things and different priorities they want focused on.”

While Cink does have expertise in a number of areas, he said there is one area of his job where he does need to ask for help from others.

“For me, it’s the legal aspect,” Cink said. “I rely heavily on David Conner and his firm to provide legal feedback. I’m not a lawyer by trade – I don’t even play one on TV. I’m a bean counter by profession, so that’s an area where I don’t have as much knowledge and am glad to have someone there for counsel and advice.”

Cink encouraged county residents to be sure to reach out to the county with any questions or concerns they may have about any issue they may face.

“Don’t hesitate to call your county offices and ask questions,” Cink said. “There are things we can not or will not do, but we can often times guide you in a direction that will help you out. That can be anything from cable franchises to public rights of way to issues with legislation or how county government operates.”

With all of the roles he fills, Cink said he and his staff think serving the people of Baldwin County is their highest priority.

“The service to the citizens is highly important,” Cink said. “I am a citizen here, too. I pay taxes. I use the roads, I use the county facilities and providing that service to the citizens is very rewarding as well.”