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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover county leaders named a new county manager Thursday.

Current Assistant County Manager, Chris Coudriet, will succeed Bruce Shell this summer.

As Shell prepares to leave the post of county manager in June, his current right-hand-man says he is ready to take on the role.

“I’m thrilled. It’s a great opportunity. I love this organization. I enjoy working with the board,” Coudriet said.

“He’s extremely capable and was the obvious choice to be the next county manager,” Commissioner Brian Berger said.

With almost 20 years of experience in public administration, all five county commissioners agreed Coudriet was the right person for the job.

“It won’t be much of a transition for him,” Commissioner Jason Thompson said. It’s a little bit of step up and a learning curve on the politics of the position more than the operations of it.”

Commissioners were so convinced of his ability that commissioners chose to not interview externally.

“Why would I waste taxpayer money when I knew I had the answer right here?” Thompson said.

Coudriet will have some challenges to face with the possibility of a change in board members as two seek re-election and two are running for state legislature seats. Added to his plate is tackling the county’s budget.

“We’re going to go into the next fiscal year with a two year budget plan that Bruce has been working on,” Coudriet said.

He says he knows he has some big shoes to fill but he’s had some good preparation.

“Having the opportunity to work for somebody like Bruce, I’ve learned a lot in four years and so I think it’s rounded my skill set out and puts me in the best position i could be in to be a leader,” Coudriet said.

Coudriet will become County Manager on June 30th with a salary of $155,000.


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