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 232,000 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.

New 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 is operating on a $399.6 million multi-fund budget for the fiscal year that began July 1, 2020 and ends June 30, 2021. In addition, the county also administers $294 million in state and federal funding. Through this $693 million, the county serves more than 233,000 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 education and workforce, superior public health and safety, intelligent growth and economic development, 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.

Mr. Coudriet has twenty-five years of public administration experience, with fifteen years as a county manager or assistant county manager in North Carolina. He has a Bachelor 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 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

Some Early Legislative Success

Posted February 3, 2015 at 2:01 pm

In mid-January the New Hanover County Commission was successful in securing 2 statewide legislative goals on the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners’ legislative agenda. Both of these goal-issues have been and are critical to our future success — beach restoration/inlet maintenance and film/historic tax incentives; and both are publicly stated policy priorities of the full county commission.

The benefit of these goals being attached to the statewide agenda means that 100 counties and more than 580 county commissioners from across North Carolina are pulling in our direction when it comes to preserving the state’s beaches, the state’s waterway inlets, the statewide film industry, and historic reservation.

This is a huge, early win as the legislative season began January 28 and is moving into full swing.
Here are the 2 goals as adopted by the membership of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners:

  • General Government-3: Support new or expanded state funding streams that will provide sufficient revenues to adequately fund the state’s transportation infrastructure needs also to include coastal infrastructure, i.e. coastal storm damage reduction and shallow draft inlet maintenance. (Amended)
  • Tax and Finance-2: Support legislation to grow North Carolina’s statewide economy through sound state investments, including public infrastructure funding, competitive incentives, and coordinated efforts with county economic development services. (a) Adopt new approaches to economic development incentives to include rural counties; (b) Restore the film and historic preservation tax credits and; (c) Maintain grant funding for rural infrastructure projects.

If you want to check out all the goals affecting county governments across the state you can click here.


Posted January 5, 2015 at 2:27 pm

2014 is in the rear view mirror. While much was accomplished and we’re proud of what we got done, nonetheless, everyone on staff at New Hanover County is focused on … Read More »

Strategic Plan Progress Metrics

Posted December 19, 2014 at 10:20 am

In 2012 the county committed fully to advancing its strategic plan (you can find the entire plan here) by formulating its annual budget around policy focus areas and articulating 6 … Read More »

School Bonds

Posted December 1, 2014 at 12:41 pm

In early November nearly 64 percent of those that voted in the New Hanover County general election checked yes to the question for $160 million in school bonds for the … Read More »


Posted November 24, 2014 at 8:07 am

This week begins what I consider the most important holiday of the year: Thanksgiving. It’s the time so many of us reflect on where we’ve been, what we’ve faced, what … Read More »