New county manager hired on 3-2 vote

Published 10:07 am Thursday, June 30, 2022

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By Mike Barnhardt

Enterprise Record

Davie County will have a new manager beginning in August.

Brian Barnett was named to the job by county commissioners on a 3-2 vote at a special called meeting on Wednesday evening, June 22. The board has held several meetings in recent weeks, most in closed sessions going over applicants for the job.

Commissioners Terry Renegar and Richard Poindexter voted against the motion to hire Barnett; Mark Jones, Benita Finney and the chair, James Blakley, voted for the motion.

Barnett currently is the deputy county manager and chief financial officer for Pitt County. Prior to that, he was the deputy finance director and budget and performance measurement manager for Mooresville.

When it came time for comments, Renegar and Poindexter both welcomed Barnett to Davie County. “We look forward to working with you,” Renegar said.

Jones made the motion to hire Barnett.

“You were clearly, clearly in my opinion, the most outstanding candidate for the job. We’re glad you guys are coming to Davie County, and I know it will be difficult,” Jones said. “We want to make our county so welcoming to you that you guys won’t even regret crossing the border.”

“We’re a small place, a little complicated, but we’re a wonderful place,” Finney said. “I think you will enjoy being here. I think you are going to be a wonderful part of this county and you will complement us very well.”

“We’ve got a lot of good things going for our county,” Blakley said. “We look forward to your good work ahead.”

A news release sent out by the county describes Barnett as having “been successful in overseeing multi-million dollar budgets while leading departments and community partners through a number of substantial projects.

“Some of the successful outcomes and projects under his leadership include the Pitt County Animal Shelter Renovation Project, oversight of Hurricane Florence FEMA Financial Recovery, acquisition of A.G. Cox Middle School Limited Obligation Bonds, and successfully growing Pitt County’s fund balance from 20% to 33%.”

Barnett was instrumental in Pitt County being named a Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Triple Crown Award Winner which recognizes governments who have received GFOA’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, Popular Annual Financial Reporting Award, and the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award, according to the news release.

Barnett earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a master’s of public administration degree with a concentration in city/county management from Appalachian State University.  He is married and has two 10-year-old twin sons.

Barnett will make a base salary of $175,000 per year on a two-year contract, plus a vehicle allowance, cell phone allowance and other amenities.