courthouse-clocktowerHere in New Hanover County, the community, elected officials and county staff cooperate to balance a high quality of life with a progressive business and economic climate.

At less than 200 square miles, New Hanover County is the second smallest – geographically – of the 100 North Carolina counties; however, it is home to more than 227,000 people.

New Hanover County is not just a great place in which to live or visit. New Hanover County is also a great place to do business. Tourism, film production, the service and retail sectors are the engines that power our economy.

Our Mission: New Hanover County is committed to progressive public policy, superior service, courteous contact, judicious exercise of authority, and sound fiscal management to meet the needs and concerns of our citizens today and tomorrow.

The government of New Hanover County is committed to ensuring that you are safe, healthy and secure; that is our promise to you.

County ManagerNew Hanover County Manager Chris Coudriet serves as Chief Administrator of county government and maintains responsibility for administering all departments under the general control of the five-member Board of Commissioners.

The county manager’s work includes the development of the county’s annual budget. The budget is the policy document, financial plan, and operations guide and communications device of county government. It reflects the county’s response to the needs of the community and residents’ requests for services. New Hanover County’s government operates on a $352.1 million budget for the fiscal year that began July 1, 2016 and ends June 30, 2017, serving more than 220,000 residents.

In addition, the manager and his executive leadership team are responsible for aligning the operations of the County to the adopted strategic plan and advancing the County’s mission and vision through five key focus areas: superior public health, safety and education, intelligent growth and economic development, productive strategic partnerships, strong financial performance, and effective county management.

Mr. Coudriet has served as the County Manager since July 2012. Prior to his appointment, he served as Assistant County Manager for New Hanover County for four years and as county manager in Franklin and Washington counties, N.C.

Coudriet has twenty years of public administration experience, with more than a decade as a county manager in North Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from East Carolina University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

He is a native of eastern North Carolina. Chris and along with his wife, Leigh, and two children Montgomery, and Silas, reside in Wilmington.

New Hanover County has received the final economic development target analysis report from Jay Garner titled Pathways to Prosperity: New Hanover County’s Plan for Jobs and Investment and it’s critical companion piece, the Competitive Realties Report.

Manager's Message

Investing In Early Childhood Education Creates Long-Term Benefits

Posted November 16, 2017 at 10:30 am

Providing every child with a strong foundation for learning matters. Research suggests that quality pre-kindergarten and educational readiness lead to increased high school graduation rates, higher earnings, less crime and a stronger workforce.

The more prepared students are as they enter kindergarten – with social, emotional, and academic development – the better off they are and the better off we are as a community.

That is why the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners has such a strong commitment to early childhood readiness. It has been a strategic priority for the past five years, and the county has made great strides to increase funding to our public schools and develop additional educational programming for children.

Most recently, with the help of New Hanover County Schools, Smart Start of New Hanover County, the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council and other community partners, the commissioners made a three-year commitment of $476,000 to fund three new pre-k classrooms, serving 45 additional three-year-olds in our county.

This is the first time New Hanover County government has specifically funded the creation of pre-k classrooms but – personally and professionally – I hope it won’t be the last.

The classrooms, which opened in October at Mosley Performance Learning Center, are modeled after evidence-based pre-k curriculums that have yielded benefits for children, schools and communities. Each class is taught by a licensed teacher with a college degree, provides a high-quality learning environment that is rated five stars by the state, and offers a continuum of services both inside and outside the classroom.

In addition to a structured pre-k curriculum that focuses on language, physical and social development, this initiative also includes a dedicated team focused on the child’s and family’s wellbeing to make sure they are given the right resources at the right time.

For instance, students will have mental health screenings, as well as vision and hearing tests, so that any issues can be identified early and interventions can be made to remove impediments to their learning.

The Health Department’s Mobile Dental Unit will provide services to the children, the county’s public library will bring the Raising a Reader Program to the classrooms and into homes, and parenting classes with Smart Start will be offered to help families succeed together.

Quality pre-k education has been recognized as an integral part of efforts to help close the achievement gap that exist at the time children enter kindergarten, and that can persist until they enter the workforce.
These new classrooms will help close that gap for some of the county’s most at-risk children and the benefits will go well beyond kindergarten.

That’s because, based on national data, classrooms like these provide a clear path for opportunity, self-sufficiency and empowerment. By helping to increase a child’s chance for success into adulthood, our community will gain a more educated workforce that earns higher wages and productively contributes to the economy.

Every dollar we invest in early learning programs for vulnerable children will also save us in future expenditures for special education and the criminal justice system.

I am proud to say we are helping improve the lives of 45 more children in New Hanover County, creating a better-prepared workforce, and enhancing long-term economic benefits to families through these new classrooms. We are investing in our children and our families today, tomorrow and for the future.

I encourage you to watch this short video that was produced by the New Hanover County Communications and Outreach Department about this important pre-k expansion.


New Hanover County is Planning, Measuring & Strategically Investing

Posted October 3, 2017 at 12:07 pm

Since 2012, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners embraced a five-year strategic plan that has guided and directed county decisions and initiatives. The strategic plan established three focus areas to meet the needs of our citizens; and through effective … Read More »


Project Grace And The Possibility Of Redevelopment

Posted September 11, 2017 at 10:16 am

In January, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners entered into a contract with Wilmington Downtown, Inc. and Benchmark Planning to conduct a study on a county-owned downtown block. The … Read More »


Lower Property Taxes Among County Budget Highlights

Posted July 27, 2017 at 11:00 am

New Hanover County started a new fiscal year on July 1. With that start comes an adopted general fund budget of $329.4 million and a continued focus on the county’s … Read More »


Public Safety Was Paramount During Wells Fargo Championship

Posted May 19, 2017 at 3:08 pm

The Wells Fargo Championship in New Hanover County was an overwhelming success. Around 25,000 spectators descended on Eagle Point Golf Club each day during the first week of May. The … Read More »


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