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

Manager’s Message: Advancing New Hanover County’s Strategic Priorities

Posted February 22, 2018 at 10:18 am

By County Manager Chris Coudriet

The need to plan for the county’s future, to create a road map for setting measurable targets and achieving them, is the basis for New Hanover County’s strategic planning.

This past January, the Board of Commissioners adopted the county’s 2018-2023 Strategic Plan. This new plan advances the board’s priorities and builds on the success of our first strategic plan, which was implemented from 2012 until 2017.

Our community has changed over the past five years and new issues and opportunities have been identified. So, this updated strategic plan sets new goals that will guide the work of New Hanover County forward over the course of the next five years.

The strategic plan was informed by the wisdom of our leadership and the expertise of numerous community partners and county staff. It honors the direction of the board and ensures that the county’s goals are aligned with the community’s expectations.

This plan is not a book that will sit on a shelf. It is a living guide for each county employee to use as we improve programs, create better efficiencies and develop effective partnerships. When we all work together with clear outcomes that we are moving forward, then success will follow.

For example, one of the county’s strategic priorities is “Intelligent Growth and Economic Development.” As a target, the county will be focused on increasing the tax base by $3 billion by creating an environment for the private sector to thrive.

We also want to ensure continued growth and economic mobility for everyone in the county. With the right policy orientation and the right environment, the target is 6,500 new, traded-sector jobs and competitive jobs that pay more than 6.5 percent above the county’s living wage.

Through public investments and encouraging support services in current and future developments, the county will also further the creation of complete communities that meet the basic needs of residents within a mile of where they live. This concept was adopted as part of the county’s Comprehensive Plan and will be carried out over the next five years.

Another strategic priority is “Superior Education and Workforce.” The county will be strengthening opportunities for education to ensure our kids are successful, with a target that 75 percent of children are ready for kindergarten and 90 percent of third graders can read proficiently at reading level. That will take collaborative partnerships with our school system and community resources to ensure our children are equipped to succeed.

We want businesses to stay, start and expand in our county, and that means making sure we have a skilled workforce. Collaborative business, community and educational partnerships, including strategic talent development, will help ensure the success of our families and our workforce.

The county’s third strategic priority is “Superior Public Health and Safety.” We want to meet people where they are to provide them with the tools to reach their own health goals. So, over the next five years, the county will increase access to nutritious foods, opportunities for physical activity and health education for citizens at higher risk for obesity.

Something our community is all too familiar with is the opioid crisis. New Hanover County has already taken a proactive role in helping to reduce opioid abuse, but over the next five years, we will do much more. The county’s goal, with the collaboration of our community partners, is to decrease opioid-related deaths by 100 percent and opioid-related overdoses by 50 percent. We want to help save lives and save families.

To ensure we are able to accomplish our goals, the county will maintain our motto of “good governance” through fiscal discipline and proactive management. We will continue to hire people committed to public service, who are focused, disciplined, innovative and agile. This will ensure we have a strong foundation focused on the customer experience and the long-term well-being of this community.

This new strategic plan will guide the county to meet the outcomes the board and community expect. Over the next five years, the county’s policy choices will support our targets. There will be more collaboration among the public and private sectors to bring greater economic opportunity to our region. And the county will work every day to make our community safer, healthier and more secure.

I invite you to take a more in-depth look at New Hanover County’s 2018-2023 Strategic Plan here.

Manager’s Message: Advancing Our Success into 2018

Posted January 19, 2018 at 10:44 am

By County Manager Chris Coudriet New Hanover County had a good 2017, and I am looking forward to another productive year in 2018. I am confident the county will continue … Read More »

Change Agents on a Mission

Posted December 22, 2017 at 9:13 am

It is the end of 2017 and I am thankful for many things. I am thankful for the more than 1,700 dedicated county employees who work hard, serve our citizens … Read More »

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 … Read More »

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 »

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