Northampton tabs Turner

Published 8:28 am Thursday, July 24, 2014

JACKSON – The “interim” tag has been removed.

On the heels of a meeting here Tuesday, the Northampton County Board of Commissioners voted to extend a contract offer to Kimberly Turner to serve as County Manager.

Kimberly Turner

Kimberly Turner

Turner, a county native who has worked with Northampton local government for the past 11 years, was named as interim County Manager in March of this year following the resignation of Kenneth Creque.

“We made the employment contract effective today,” said Commission Chairman Robert Carter on Wednesday. “Of course that starting date is contingent upon Kimberly signing the contract.”

Turner did put her name on the dotted line, thus becoming the first female and the first African-American to lead Northampton County local government.

For Turner, who grew up in the Pendleton-Severn area and now is the mother of two sons (ages 15 and 6), she never imagined her career reaching this pinnacle.

“When I first went to work here in Jackson, I never aspired to become the County Manager,” Turner said. “I did have the chance to work under Wayne (Jenkins, Northampton’s manager for 12 years before retiring in 2013). He is my mentor and my friend. When you work for a person like Wayne, with the all the experience he has, some of it rubs off on the person who’s doing the listening.

“He kept telling me that I would become County Manager one day and here I am,” Turner added. “I’ll just continue to do the things that I was taught….to work hard, and be dedicated and loyal to the citizens of Northampton County.”

Turner came to work for Northampton County local government in October of 2003 at which time she filled two part-time administrative assistant roles in the County Manager’s office and for the Register of Deeds.

She rose to the rank of a full-time administrative assistant in the County Manager’s office in February of 2006. Near the end of 2007, Turner was appointed as Clerk to the County Board of Commissioners upon the retirement of former clerk Kay Flythe. In the months leading up to Jenkins’ retirement, Turner was named Assistant County Manager.

Carter said that from the applications received for the County Manager’s position, the field of candidates was narrowed to four, to include Turner. Interviews with the board for that foursome were held on Tuesday.

“Due to the fact that Kimberly has worked for the county since 2003, the board had the opportunity to review each and every employee evaluation she has had since that time,” Carter said. “She received exemplary marks from all the department heads that supervised her since day one on the job.”

Carter said he was personally impressed with the way Turner handled the task of putting together, for the very first time, the county’s operating budget for 2014-15.

“When that budget came before our board in June, one would be led to believe that Kimberly had been doing that for years and years,” Carter said. “But that was her very first budget. She handled it very well in my opinion.

“I think Kimberly is very capable of handling the affairs of the County Manager’s office. She’s a very friendly young lady who gets along well with everybody. She will do an excellent job,” Carter concluded.

A 1995 graduate of Northampton County High School East, Turner holds an Associate of Arts degree in Business Administration from Roanoke-Chowan Community College. She also holds an Effective Supervisory Management Certificate from the North Carolina Institute of Government, and has completed National Incident Management Systems training from FEMA.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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