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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -– Former New Hanover County Manager Bruce Shell says he will run for a seat on the New Hanover County School Board.

“I’m retired now. I have the time and wanted to give something back to the community,” Shell told WWAY in a phone interview this morning. “I believe there is probably no greater influence on a future than through education.”

Shell served as county manager from November 2005 until June 2012. He also worked as Finance Director for the county for 11 years and as interim town manager for Carolina Beach, but says he has always had a passion for education.

Shell says his experience with the county government putting 25 budgets together will be beneficial to the board if elected.

“I am a common sense, do what’s right kind of person,” Shell said. “I understand funding, and I understand what an organization needs to do. I believe anything you can do to improve morale and increase and gain momentum in the quality of education is going to help children learn better.”

Shell says he does not have any preconceived notions of any problems in the county’s education system right now, but he said there is always room for improvement. Something he says he is not keen on, however, is the state requirement that school districts must select 25 percent of teachers to get multi-year contracts and higher pay while giving up their tenure, which the state is phasing out.

“It is not my decision to make,” Shell said. “I would certainly, if it was passed down, I would certainly be a part of trying to make it as positive as possible. I had 1,600, 1,700 employees when I was with New Hanover County, and I can assure you more than 25 percent of those people contributed in a great way.”

Shell said he is in Boone on vacation, but a friend will file the paperwork for his candidacy today.

Comment on this Story

  • Antastasia

    If the people of New Hanover County have any since they will not vote this man for the school board after what he did to the police department at Carolina Beach! He not only ruined officers careers, but left the moral of the department at an all time low!

  • SouthEastNC

    sense officers’ morale

  • guesty

    “…have any since…”

    Looks like you might be short on having any “since”

  • taxpayer

    I think the words you’re looking for are “sense”, not since, and “morale” not moral. Would you care to specify what officers’ careers were ruined? Or…did an officer’s actions create his/her own problems?

  • blah

    You might want to proofread before commenting on issues regarding education. I believe the word you are looking for is sense not since.

  • Hang In There

    Thank you! Your comments clearly illustrate the need for improving our educational programs.

  • SouthEastNC

    Glad to hear this, Bruce would be a great addition to the board.

  • Phyllis Woods

    How serious can he be if he has to have a friend file his paper work? If he was really serious about giving back, he would have come back from vacation and filed his own paperwork. Bpone is not that far away from New Hanover County!

    Seems like this is just another plan for Bruce to be in the spotlight which he seems to enjoy.

    And the fact that he made poor decisions for Carolina Beach, especially the Police Department, as he was walking out of the door, and left morale there at an all time low should speak volumes to the public.

    Please do not elect him to our Board of Education. Neither our students nor the school system staff need his poor judgment influencing decions that are critical for the future of education in our county.

  • SouthEastNC

    Um, Boone is not close to New Hanover County.

  • Guest2020

    How can he be expected to show up to meetings when he couldn’t even be present to file for himself?

  • Dean Hill

    Not only did Bruce Shell have the most expensive tax mistake in the history of New Hanover County happen during his time as County Manager is also screwed up the lives of many people including myself laying off over 26 employees of New Hanover County. People if you’re smart dont vote him in, take a look back at the Tax mistake on his watch and they did nothing to him or anyone that was involved with it.
    That was part of the revaluation of property taxes and the BIG mistake that costed the County and eventually costed the tax payers, being you. Than take a look at your water bills too, there was more money cover ups going on while the Water Authority was being created, under his watch. People you dont need someone like that looking over you or watching out for you.
    And you can put my name on it, I want him to know. That after working for New Hanover County for over 13 years giving it my all for the County and the tax payers, I was given a RIF notice.
    Thanks again Bruce!

  • Current LEO

    Maybe the former County Manager would like to explain why, a couple years ago when ALL county employees had to take 40hr furlough, he gave himself a pay raise? I seriously doubt he is doing this to give back. He is nothing more than a politician who is out for himself


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