Prospective Nominee, William Lee Smith, III, For County Manager


William Lee Smith
William Lee Smith

A fter a nine-month long search, Al Scott, Chairman of the Chatham County Commission, introduced the name of a prospective nominee for County Manager at Friday’s County Commission meeting. William Lee Smith, III of Goldsboro, North Carolina was nominated to succeed Chatham’s retiring County Manager, Russ Abolt.

Scott said Chatham County has been well-served with Abolt’s twenty-six years of dedicated service. “We will sincerely miss Russ’ leadership. I am sure present and past members of this County Commission, as well as all the Citizens of Chatham County join me in thanking him for his years of service, and wishing Russ and Diane the very best in their future,” added Scott.

Lee Smith is a veteran County Manager with over twenty years of experience. His background includes experience in all areas of county management – cost reduction strategies, human resource management, budgeting and finance, operations, and community consensus building. He has been an accredited County Manager by the International County Managers Association, (ICMA) since 2004. He has a working understanding of strategic planning, zero based budgeting (needs based budgeting), as well as an appreciation for public/private partnership development and economic development.

“Lee’s last assignment was manager of Wayne County, North Carolina where he managed a county with a military installation and multiple municipalities, much like our own,” Chairman Scott said. “Therefore, I am sure he understands the importance of forging a good working relationship with all branches, and agencies of government – including constitutional officers, such as judges, sheriffs, and district attorneys.”

However, The Goldsboro (N.C.) Daily News reported on Feb. 10 that the Wayne County Commission voted unanimously to accept Smith’s resignation and approved $325,000 to be paid to him. Following Friday’s commission meeting, commission Chairman Al Scott said he was aware of the issues in Smith’s past career.

It will be left up to the nine members of the Chatham County Commission to determine whether Smith gets the job when they vote on his selection on April 11. Smith will travel to Chatham County this week to meet with members of the County Commission in preparation for a confirmation vote on April 11, at the regularly scheduled County Commission Meeting. Chairman Scott has scheduled a news conference for Thursday, April 3rd to introduce Mr. Smith to the community. The news conference will take place in the Commission Meeting Room of the Old Courthouse at 11:00 AM.


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