Barnstable County Administrator John (Jack) Yunits, Jr. has announced that he is stepping down from his position.
Mr. Yunits made his announcement in an email dated Thursday, February 18. He was hired as county administrator in February 2016. He took over for Interim County Administrator Michael Brillhart who had been in place since 2013.
“My present contract expires in two weeks,” Mr. Yunits said, “and I have been blessed with another transformative opportunity to move back to the private sector.”
Mr. Yunits said the decision to leave his current post was a difficult one, as difficult as the decision he made 25 years ago to leave his law practice and run for mayor of Brockton, he said. He served as mayor from 1996 to 2006.
Choosing to leave was compounded, he said, by the relationships he has developed as administrator. He expressed confidence in the future ahead and his belief that “our county government is as good as it gets and we will pound through this pandemic with the power of the positive.”
Mr. Yunits's tenure as county administrator began with a number of financial issues. Ahead of his arrival, the Fiscal Year 2017 operating budget submitted to the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates was $2.3 million less than the previous year’s budget.
The proposed budget was balanced but based on a 36-cent increase in the Registry of Deeds excise tax. The increase had not been debated or approved and, if not approved, would have led to further cuts and layoffs of county employees. He credited his team with leading the county out of its financial difficulties.
“Your passion coupled with your intellect inspired a new found optimism in me and inspired me to work harder out of respect for all of you,” he said. “You lead the charge to improve our government. All I had to do was release you to do your job.”
Mr. Yunits said he will stay on in his current position on an interim contract while the upcoming budget process is underway. He will also “continue to offer my all as we fight through the pandemic.”
“I have committed to our commissioners that I will do whatever it takes to help through the transition,” he added, “and will be open to staying in the game as a part-time adjunct at their complete discretion.”
Mr. Yunits has been a lawyer, a mediation and arbitration consultant, a hearings officer for the Brockton Housing Authority and general counsel for the Brockton Rox minor league baseball team. He received bachelor’s degrees in economics and philosophy from Boston College and a law degree from New England School of Law.