County Manager

Organization: Harnett County, North Carolina
Salary: The compensation for the County Manager will be highly competitive and will include a generous benefit package.
Close Date: The position will remain open until filled and will move forward immediately upon receipt of a sufficient pool of well-qualified applicants.

Job Description:

Harnett County was formed in 1855 and is in the South-Central portion of North Carolina. It lies partially in the Coastal Plain and partially in the Piedmont section. Harnett County is the fifth fastest growing county in the State based on the US Census Bureau's population estimate for 2019 of 135,976. Approximately eighty percent (80%) of the County is unincorporated. The County seat, the Town of Lillington, has a population of 3,604 while the City of Dunn, the largest municipality located in the County, has a population of 9,718. These two municipalities comprise approximately 10% of the total County population.

Harnett County covers 601 square miles of land. The Cape Fear River, which flows from the northwest to the southeast part of the County, is the County's main drainage system. Generally, the eastern two-thirds of the County exhibits topographic features common to the Coastal Plain of North Carolina. It is an area of level to gently rolling terrain with elevations ranging from 100 to 300 feet above sea level. Topographic features in the western part of the County resemble the Piedmont region of North Carolina. It is an area of steeper hills with elevations as high as 450 feet above sea level.

Harnett County leadership is focused on creating an environment where companies thrive, and residents enjoy an enhanced quality of life that preserves the County's agricultural heritage. The County's proximity to the metropolitan areas of Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and Research Triangle Park (RTP), as well as Fayetteville and Fort Bragg, enhances the profitability for business and industry. The State of North Carolina is divided into seven metropolitan statistical areas (MSA's) and Harnett County is in two of the seven Cumberland and Wake County. Interstate 95, located in eastern Harnett County, provides easy north-south access. Interstate 40, located seven miles north of the Harnett County line, provides equally important east-west access. Harnett County is located within two hours of the deep-water ports of Wilmington and Morehead City. The Raleigh-Durham International Airport is located within 45 miles. The six thousand (6,000) student Campbell University, founded in1887, is in Harnett County. This ell is fully accredited institution offers a Medical School, a School of Nursing, a School of Pharmacy, a Business School, and an undergraduate Engineering School at their Harnett County campus. Twelve other universities including Duke University in Durham, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University in Raleigh, are within an hour's drive. These attributes, plus an excellent workforce, make Harnett County an attractive location for industries who are seeking a site for expansion.
The County is governed by a Board of Commissioners (the "Board"). The Board consists of five members who are; elected from districts, on a partisan basis, by a district vote and serve staggered four-year terms. Elections for the Board are held in November of even-numbered years. The Commissioners take office at the first meeting in December following the November election. At that time, the Board elects a Chairman and a Vice Chairman from among its members. Commissioners hold policy-making and legislative authority. They are also responsible for adopting the budget and appointing the County Manager. The Manager is responsible for implementing policies, managing daily operations, and appointing department heads.

The County Manager is appointed by and is responsible to the Board to plan, direct and oversee the administration of County Departments and to ensure that all policies, orders, resolutions, and regulations of the Board are executed. The County Manager prepares and submits the annual budget and capital improvement program to the Board and administers the budget once approved. The County Manager appoints all County officers, employees, and agents except elected officials and those whose appointment is otherwise provided for by law. He or she develops, evaluates performance, and takes disciplinary action as needed and is expected to develop and maintain a positive teamwork environment and provide effective, clear, and timely communication.

Harnett County provides a full range of services including human services, public safety, economic and physical development, environmental protection, cultural and recreational activities, and public utilities. The County operates a regional water utility which provides water to customers in eight counties and to Fort Bragg. The County's workforce consists of more than 925 regular employees. The County has a General Fund appropriation of $135.4 million for fiscal year 2021. Visit Harnett County on the web at
Minimum Training and/or Experience: Bachelor=s Degree in Public Administration, Business Administration or Accounting; Master=s degree in Public Administration or Business Administration is strongly preferred. Minimum of five years of local government management experience which includes finance, human resources, and public relations; or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Significant experience at the local government level, with particular emphasis in experience in county government or other large, multifaceted organizations providing similar services. Experience in financial analysis, budget development and fiscal control at the County government level is highly desired
The Ideal candidate is a mission focused leader who is a proactive, futuristic thinker with the following attributes and competencies:
Demonstrated track record in Economic Development which is the highest priority of the County Commission. Experience in areas such as the recruitment and development of industry, airport/jetport development, pertinent retail and associated food & beverage services, quality entertainment venues. and utilities such as natural gas and broadband communications, to broaden the tax base and provide local employment opportunities and services are highly desired.
Experienced in the provision and improvement of regional water and sewer utilities and their associated long-term capital planning.
Human Resources experience including employee development, motivation, and training, as well as a demonstrated commitment to and track record on diversity, inclusion, and the provision of a supportive environment where all employees feel valued and appreciated.
Growth Management experience, including significant short- and long-term capital infrastructure planning, is highly desired to support a growing community with appropriate housing, retail/shopping, recreational, educational and workforce opportunities.
Experience in intergovernmental relations and interlocal governance and agreements, to include federal, state, regional, county, and local officials as relates to their legislative, service provision, and other concerns. A leader who has demonstrated the ability to coordinate and cooperate with officials at various levels to achieve community goals.
Ability to listen to employees, community leaders and pertinent groups to address their concerns and explain various policies, procedures, and/or provide opportunities for new suggestions and concepts to be moved forward by interested parties. Ability to motivate staff to achieve County/community goals and objectives in a timely manner.
Ability to show empathy for, as well as to stand up to, various constituents while ensuring adherence to County rules, regulations, policies, and standards.
Has a proven track record as a proactive governmental official and strategic leader who understands and respects that County Manager is an appointee of the County Commission vested with the responsibly to lead and motivate the staff to initiate and accomplish programs, projects, and services that meet identified community needs and move the community forward.
Has a track record of demonstrating excellent customer service to the citizens, community and interested parties.
Understands the appropriate levels of communication to be provided to the County Commission and the community. Serves as one of the "faces" of County government--displaying honesty, integrity, and good communications.
Is a well-rounded, proactive leader who is experienced in community relations and is willing to participate in community civic organizations and be a part of the community.

The compensation for the County Manager will be highly competitive and will include a generous benefit package. The County will pay reasonable and customary moving expenses.

To Apply: The position will remain open until filled and will move forward immediately upon receipt of a sufficient pool of well-qualified applicants. If interested, please email your resume and cover letter with current salary immediately to: For additional information about this position, contact Robert E. Slavin or Barbara Lipscomb at Slavin Management Consultants by phone at (770) 449-4656 or by email at


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