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. He has more than twenty-five years of public administration experience, with fifteen years as a county manager or assistant county manager in North Carolina. He holds 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.

Mr. Coudriet currently serves in several leadership positions with the National Association of Counties (NACo), including vice-chair of the Public Health and Healthy Communities Subcommittee and vice-chair of the Resilient Counties Advisory Board. He is also a member of NACo’s Information Technology Standing Committee and the International Economic Development Committee. Recently, Mr. Coudriet received a Presidential Recognition Award from the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) for his contribution as a member of the opioid settlement working group, also known as the 555 committee, which helped NCACC and the North Carolina Department of Justice to maximize North Carolina’s share of a $26 billion national settlement fund to ensure resources reach communities as quickly, effectively, and directly as possible.

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.

In 2014, New Hanover County commissioned an economic development strategy entitled the Pathways To Prosperity Report by Jay Garner and Associates, which provided a road map to help New Hanover County strengthen the local business climate and assist in increasing the county’s economic competitiveness. Many of the recommendations outlined in the report have been implemented or are underway and helped to inform the county’s 2018 Strategic Plan. In 2021, the Board of Commissioners authorized an update to the report, given the many changes that have occurred since the initial report was developed. The updated Economic Mobility Report by Greenfield, completed in 2022, provides an overview of progress that has been made, current demographics and workforce data, important county assets, key findings, and an overview of the primary and emerging target sectors in New Hanover County.

Learn more and view the reports here »

Manager's Message

FY15-16 Budget Highlights

Posted June 23, 2015 at 2:13 pm

Monday, June 22 the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners approved its budget for fiscal year 2015-2016, which begins July 1. The budget approved does not look altogether different than what I presented in early May in terms of priorities. The budget, however, does include a 2 cent tax increase. What’s important to note is the 2 cents will be appropriated toward voter approved debts only. The increase is not being used to fund the operations and maintenance of the county’s general fund. The budget also lowers the fire service district tax to 7 cents and lowers the tipping fee to $52 per ton for disposal at the county landfill.

Rather than write extensively about the final budget, our public affairs team has prepared this graphical illustration of the FY 2015-2016 New Hanover County Budget. I hope you’ll check it out – it tells the complete story of how the county will spend wisely the revenues you’ve entrusted to us.


Public Hearing on the FY 15-16 County Budget

Posted June 5, 2015 at 2:25 pm

In early May I presented a budget to the Board of Commissioners that proposed a 5 cent property tax increase and a general fund budget of some $306.6 million. The … Read More »


Public Hearing on the FY 15-16 County Budget

Posted June 1, 2015 at 10:49 am

The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on the FY 15-16 county budget Monday afternoon, June 8 at the historic courthouse. I hope everyone can … Read More »


FY15-16 Recommended Budget

Posted May 5, 2015 at 11:06 am

Monday, May 4, 2015 I presented a recommended budget for fiscal year 2015 and 2016 (FY 15-16) to the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners. If you did not get … Read More »


A MRF in the future

Posted April 22, 2015 at 2:08 pm

The following blog is provided from “Shorelines,” an internal communication channel for New Hanover County employees. The county manager posted this blog following the Board of Commissioners’ meeting Monday, and … Read More »