Wake County

Here’s your chance to quiz the finalists who want to be Wake County’s next top staffer

The public can meet the three finalists for Wake County manager Thursday, Feb. 1.
The public can meet the three finalists for Wake County manager Thursday, Feb. 1. 2016 N&O file photo

Wake County has narrowed its search for a new county manger to three finalists, who will take part in a public meet-and-greet Thursday.

The informal session begins at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Wake County Justice Center in downtown Raleigh. The candidates will introduce themselves and talk about why they’re interested in the job, and residents can ask them questions.

Names of the finalists will not be released until closer to the event, said Dara Demi, communications director for the county.

The ideal candidate will have a can-do attitude, a strong personality and a strong reputation in constituent services and public relations, said Jessica Holmes, chairwoman of the Wake County commissioners.

“I think we have a strong line-up and I look forward to the opportunity to involve the public in this process,” she said. “This person is so influential regarding the vision for Wake County and how we implement this vision, and it’s important to involve the public and get public feedback.”

Former Wake County Manager Jim Hartmann retired in October, and commissioners appointed David Ellis to serve in the interim. Ellis had worked as deputy county manager since 2015.

The county manager is considered the chief executive officer for Wake, which has a population of about 1 million. He or she is responsible for drafting the county’s $1.26 billion budget, overseeing county departments, making recommendations to commissioners and attending community events.

During Thursday’s event, Renee Norloch, a recruiter hired by the county, will lay out the next steps in the hiring process.

“It’s free and open to the public,” Demi said. “This is an opportunity for citizens and anyone interested in county government to come and meet the candidates where they can speak to them as long or little as they would like.”

There were a total of 25 applicants for the position.

Want to go?

What: Meet the candidates for Wake County manager

When: 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1

Where: Room 2800, Wake County Justice Center, 301 S. McDowell St., Raleigh