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 225,702 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 providing equitable opportunities and exceptional public services through good governance to ensure a safe, healthy, secure and thriving community for all.

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 $458 million multi-fund budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2021 and ending June 30, 2022, serving more than 225,000 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’s work is aligned with six shared values: Professionalism, Equity, Integrity, Innovation, Stewardship, and Accountability. The county’s employees consistently exemplify these values and go above and beyond in carrying out the mission to serve the county’s citizens.

Learn more about the county’s mission, vision, and strategy here.

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


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 2015 and the future.

2015 opens up new opportunities – the county has a new board with its own priorities.  The chairman is framing a continued focus on economic development and job creation as a priority but he is also including a renewed focus on [public] education. In my mind education is the traditional primary and secondary function we serve through funding the public school and charter school systems but also the post-secondary role we have with the community college and an ever-developing relationship with the university. My focus, and what I’ll do every day, will be positioning the organization to accomplish these and other clearly articulated board priorities.

The first 3 months of 2015 will have the county administration fully committed to developing a budget recommendation for the county commission to debate through the spring. Through public discourse of the board itself and via staff meetings with commissioners, we’ll develop a sense of what will rise to the top of the 2015-2016 budget, which becomes effective in six months on July 1, 2015.

Beyond the county’s budget for next fiscal year, some other big things I believe you’ll see the board address in the first 6 months of the year include: 1) a work session with the city to discuss continued implementation of the Garner Report (economic development); 2) a work session with the city to discuss fire service delivery through a consolidate service model; 3) a board priority-setting retreat that looks forward through 2017 to include a report-out of the community survey completed in late 2014); 4) consideration of the county’s first comprehensive development plan that will guide service policy decisions for the next 20 years, and so many other important things that directly affect this great place we call home.

I hope you’ll check out this blog regularly in 2015 – it’s my goal to communicate regularly and effectively with our community.

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 »

Economic Development

Posted November 13, 2014 at 3:56 pm

New Hanover County leaders have made economic development a priority. I can point to partnerships in the past 18 months that have led to more than 500 new private-sector jobs … Read More »