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Local reaction to George Touart's death

He was a fixture in local government for many years. And while certainly sometimes controversial, former Escambia County administrator George Touart is going to be remembered for his contributions.

George Touart was a local.
His life and career took him other places, but Escambia County was always the home worked for and loved, right up to the end.

"Even on his hospital bed, even as late as Monday, I was on the phone with George talking about things that effect the county. His work ethic cannot be questioned. George came to work early, and he stayed late," says commissioner Lumon May.

Touart's recent tenure as interim administrator was a busy time for the county.
A second stint highlighted by some major accomplishments.

"From transitioning the jail to the county, economic development, issues with the landfill. You know I could go on. We run the library system now exclusively. And all of that, George was able this year to balance the budget, and for the first time in seven years we give all of our employees a three percent raise," says commissioner Wilson Robertson.

"Many issues were controversial issues, and George withstood those controversies and was able to be effective and get things done for Escambia County," continues May.

Those who worked with and knew the man will remember what he brought to the table.

"I'm going to miss having someone like George around. Whether you love him, or you didn't love him, I think that there is a matter of respect to him for his commitment, and really for his knowledge and for his skill set that he brought to Escambia County government," says Pensacola police chief Chip Simmons.

The board of county commissioners will be interviewing candidates for a permanent county administrator at the end of January.
They hope to have that position filled in February.