“I’ve enjoyed my 31 years with Cobb County, and I’m glad to continue in this community,” Moon said. His last day will be Sept. 28, and he will start work as the chief financial and administrative officer at the health department on Oct. 1.
Moon, 61, notified his 300 employees of his retirement last week.
He was appointed in 2001 as director of support services, where he oversees such county departments as the tax assessor’s office; purchasing, property and fleet managements; and the county’s two government service centers. His agency, which provides services to other county departments, has a fiscal 2012 budget of $30 million.
Moon is a certified public accountant and said he was first hired by county Chairman Ernest Barrett in 1981 to be the county’s treasurer.
“My job was to revamp all the banking and to reorganize the investment function,” he said. “I think I made almost $30,000 a year back then, and it may have been less. That was a lot of money to me.”
His current county salary is just over $146,000 per year, though he said he will be making less at the health agency, where he will have fewer employees reporting to him.
The health department’s total budget is about $35 million and its total staff is about 350 people, though only about 35 of those are in the areas Moon will supervise, he said.
Public health agencies in Georgia were created by the state legislature and get most of their funding from the state, though they are not state agencies, Moon said. The agencies also get federal grant money and some money from the county and cities. Cobb County, for example, gave the health agency just under $1 million this fiscal year.
Leaders of Cobb and Douglas Public Health have “great plans for improving the level of services for citizens, and I’m looking forward to being part of that team,” Moon said.
Jack Kennedy, a medical doctor, is the director of the health agency.
Its Cobb board is led by chairman Dr. Dan Stephens. Other board members are vice chairman Wyman Pilcher; county chairman Tim Lee; Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin; Cobb’s two school superintendents, Dr. Emily Lembeck of Marietta, and Dr. Michael Hinojosa of Cobb; Judi Snelson; and medical doctor James Tallman.
Lee said he is sad that Moon is leaving county government but is “thrilled to see him moving in a direction that he feels is more fulfilling at this point in his life.”
“Virgil Moon has been a fabulous asset to this community for decades,” Lee said.
Lee said the county does plan to replace Moon, though the job opening has not yet been posted.
Bill Byrne was county chairman when Moon was named the county’s finance director.
“He knows more about county government than any person I know,” Byrne said. “When you deal with the money, you learn everything.”
Byrne said the county’s excellent credit rating can be attributed to Moon.
“As chairman I asked him, ‘What can we do to get a triple-AAA credit rating?’ It took us five years, but I’ve always given him the multitude of credit for bringing that to fruition,” Byrne said.
Moon grew up in Elbert County, on the Georgia-South Carolina border. He and his wife, Harveda, live near Kennesaw Mountain battlefield and are members of Marietta’s First United Methodist Church.
Harveda Moon retired from the county in 2010. She had been the administrative assistant to the public safety director.
Virgil Moon said he plans to continue organizing the annual Cobb County Prayer Breakfast in May, as he has done for a number of years. He is also one of the founding directors of Vinings Bank.