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

County Concern with Proposed Sales Tax Distribution

Posted March 27, 2015 at 3:32 pm

You may have recently read or heard about a North Carolina General Assembly proposal to redirect local sales taxes that you pay in and to New Hanover County to other county governments across the state. The goal of the legislation is to help those county governments that are smaller and more rural raise more revenue for their public investments and priorities. On the face many may believe this is a fair and equitable tax policy. However, the consequence to all of us is a redirection of about $13 million from New Hanover County to other counties in North Carolina. When you factor in the lost revenue to Wilmington and the beach towns the cumulative effect is even greater. What happens if the county loses $13 million and the impact is year-over-year? Most likely an increase in property taxes. Why? Even though the legislation proposes to redirect local sales taxes, it does not stand down any of the mandated service obligations such as administering the court system, funding the detention center, providing public health, or maintaining a safety net for those less fortunate.

As a resident, as a business owner, as a property owner in New Hanover County, I ask that you follow this bill as it moves through and is reshaped by the General Assembly. You will see it or hear it referenced as Senate Bill 369 or the Sales Tax Fairness Act. We’ve already seen most of the local media outlets report on the proposed legislation.

Attached to this blog you can also find a letter sent by the New Hanover County chairman of the board to the entire New Hanover County legislative delegation outlining county concerns with SB 369..

Thank you in advance for keeping yourself attuned to what may happen regarding your locally paid sales taxes.


2014 Citizen Survey Results

Posted March 23, 2015 at 10:48 am

More than 1,300 of you responded to the second New Hanover County Citizens Survey during October and November 2014. The county sent 4,000 randomly selected households a survey instrument with … Read More »


Our Vision

Posted February 27, 2015 at 1:39 pm

As a resident, local business owner, or someone who visits New Hanover County, I hope you’ll spend time “surfing” our most effective tool for teaching and communicating about the success … Read More »


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 … Read More »


2015

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 »