County Manager

What kind of County Manager do we need now?

As you hopefully know, Orange County is in the process of looking for a new Manager to lead the county government. Last week OP editor Molly De Marco attended the first session along with CHCCSS School Board Member James Barrett and probable County Commissioner candidate Mark Marcoplos. And that's it. No-one else attended the meeting. The second meeting was held last night in Hillsborough, but I was not able to make it (as I had hoped to do) and I doubt many other did in that miserable weather!

Personally, I think the most important trait in a government leader is a dedication to democracy and open government. There are many more priorities, but if a good leader listens to the people of the county then those things will follow.

Public Input Session on Orange County Manager Selection Criteria #2


Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm


Orange County Main Library, 137 West Margaret Lane, Hillsborough, Main Meeting Room

Public Input Session on Orange County Manager Selection Criteria #1

More information:


Media Contact

Donna Baker

Clerk to the Board of Orange County Commissioners

Phone: 919-245-2130





ORANGE COUNTY, NC (November 8, 2013) — Do you have an interest in the future of Orange County and how the County operates? The Orange County Board of Commissioners has retained Springsted Incorporated to assist them in recruiting candidates for the position of County Manager. An important part of the selection process involves obtaining public input concerning what qualities, qualifications and experience you believe are important characteristics for the County’s next County Manager to possess. 

If you would like to know more about what the County Manager’s responsibilities are, why their selection is important to the County and provide your opinions concerning the qualities, qualifications and experience that the Board of Commissioners should consider when selecting the County’s new Manager you are invited to attend one of two (2) meetings with Springsted representatives on:

    • Wednesday, November 20th in the Southern Human Services Center, 2501 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
    • Tuesday, November 26th in the Orange County Main Library, 137 West Margaret Lane, Hillsborough, Main Meeting Room, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

For more information please contact Mr. John Anzivino, Senior Vice President of Springsted at 804.726.9750


Wednesday, November 20, 2013 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm


Southern Human Services Center

Why Are High-Level Positions Almost Always Filled With Non-Local People?

It’s standard procedure. When we need to find a new County Manager or Superintendent of Schools or other top-ranking staff member, a consulting firm (usually also non-local) is paid to winnow the field of applicants from across the country. Then the appropriate local body makes their choice and awaits the arrival of the new person, someone who has likely received training for employment administering homogeneous systems used everywhere in this huge, diverse country.

Granted, there are so many rules, legalities, and standard operating procedures in government that the priority may necessarily be to find someone who has proven adept at dealing with the bureaucratic labyrinth and standard policies.

By accepting this priority we are effectively saying that local knowledge of the history, people, policies, environment, and politics of our town, county, or school district is secondary to knowledge of how to govern according to the state or nationally prescribed norms and requirements.

County Manager to Retire in September

I was excited to receive notice a few moments ago that Orange County's Manager Frank Clifton will retire effective September 29th. The Board of County Commissioners will now have an opportunity to recruit a leader who can truly advance the values and visions of Orange County residents. manager Clifton's letter is below

June 27, 2013 

Chair-Commissioner Jacobs, Vice Chair- Commissioner McKee, Commissioners Pelissier, Rich, Dorosin, Price and Gordon - CC: John Roberts-County Attorney and Donna Baker-Clerk to the Board

Soon, I celebrate another anniversary of my 39th birthday.  My wife and I have decided to pursue challenges and opportunities that allow us to achieve goals we value together.  Hence, per my employment agreement (90-day written notice) I advise of my intent to resign as Orange County Manager effective September 29th, 2013 and register for retirement from NCLGRS thereafter.



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