Pittsboro, NC – On December 1, 2015, Chatham County Manager Renee Paschal announced several changes in the county’s leadership team. “The goal is to ensure that we have a very strong team with the skills and knowledge to lead the county effectively with many challenges and opportunities on the horizon.”
Paschal added, “I believe that this reorganization will best prepare us for success. It will place talented folks in key leadership positions, while ensuring that we have the staff resources available in areas that the Board of Commissioners has prioritized, such as environmental protection.”
Paschal said that the reorganization should result in some cost savings, rather than requiring additional funding.
Current Assistant County Manager & Finance Officer Vicki McConnell, who has nearly 40 years of experience with the county, will assume the title of Deputy County Manager where she will be second in command. She also will continue to lead the Finance Office, which has won the Governmental Finance Officers Association’s Award for Excellence in Financial Reporting every year since 1989.
“Vicki is highly respected around the state and the nation and her experience is unsurpassed,” Paschal said. “She played a key role in the county obtaining a AAA bond rating, an amazing feat for a county our size.”
Paschal said that Dan LaMontagne, who currently manages the Public Works Department, will also assume duties of Assistant County Manager. “Dan’s extensive experience in environmental issues and public works are vital to our county given environmental issues and environmental priorities of the Board of Commissioners,” Paschal said.
LaMontagne will continue to lead Public Works. The county is recruiting to fill a vacant environmental engineer position that will be charged with managing Solid Waste & Recycling and Land and Water Resources that he currently supervises. LaMontagne will supervise this new position.
“It may seem unusual to have assistant or deputy county managers who continue to manage key departments” Paschal said. “This decision reflects that we have two outstanding team members who have extraordinary skills and knowledge that can and should be applied in several major areas.”
The budget development process will be co-led by existing Budget Analyst Lisa West, who will oversee the operating budget, and Financial Operations Manager Hope Tally, who will oversee the capital budget process. Paschal said, “Both have provided support to the budget process for many years. I can’t think of a better team to oversee the county’s model budget process.”
The County Manager’s Office will be recruiting for a policy analyst to research and evaluate programs, develop new policies based on best practices, lead initiatives to improve quality and excellence in county government, help coordinate important Board of Commissioners initiatives, such as affordable housing, and manage special projects.
Community Relations Director Debra Henzey will assume more responsibility for monitoring the legislative issues at the state and federal levels to help identify those requiring county action.
“I want all departments and employees to know that I am excited about working with them and very proud of their work,” Paschal said. “Chatham County is well known for excellence throughout county government and I know this will continue.”