Williams to retire

Published 6:07 pm Tuesday, September 17, 2019

WINTON – Loria Williams will end her 14-and-one-half-year tenure as Hertford County Manager effective Jan. 1, 2020.

Ronald Gatling, Chairman of the Hertford County Board of Commissioners, officially announced that news during Monday night’s regularly scheduled meeting of the board.

“We thank Ms. Williams for almost 15 years of service to our county,” Gatling stated after making the announcement.

He added that the board will immediately begin the process of searching for a new county manager. He asked Charles “Chuck” Revelle, a Murfreesboro attorney who serves as the county’s legal counsel, of what steps now need to be taken.

“The [North Carolina] Association of County Commissioners can provide some assistance and suggestions,” Revelle said, adding that the board could opt to hire an interim manager should the full-time position not be filled by Jan. 1.

“We might have a full-time manager in place by January,” Gatling remarked.

Williams, who notified the commissioners of her intentions to retire in a letter, said she reached this decision based on what she felt in her heart.

“It’s the right thing to do at this time; the letter speaks for itself,” Williams told the R-C News-Herald on Tuesday.

In the letter, Williams writes, “There is honor in public service, and it has been my privilege to serve the citizens of Hertford County as its Chief Administrative Officer for almost fifteen years. It is with the knowledge that I have served this County with dignity and the utmost integrity that I offer this Letter of Retirement effective January 1, 2020 with the greatest sense of accomplishment. Hertford County has truly become my home away from home with that I leave with some sadness; however, I can see great things on the horizon, if all pull together for the greater good.

“I have always believed in county government, its premise and charge; but more importantly the fiscally sound manner in which we are bound to operate in the provision of those services. I have duly performed my duties in this manner. I will forever be appreciative of this Governing Body, as well as the preceding in affording me the opportunity to serve in this yeoman’s role,” she added in the letter.

Williams did not comment when asked if her decision to retire was linked to a brief statement made by Commissioner Andre Lassiter at the Aug. 19 board meeting. There, during the Commissioner Comments portion of the agenda, Lassiter remarked, “I’ve sat here for eight months. I’ve listened and learned a lot. I’m no longer comfortable with the direction the county is going in and the leadership of our county manager.”

Her retirement announcement comes at a critical time in Hertford County Local Government, which has seen the exodus of key personnel over the past several months.

Former Assistant County Manager Juan Vaughan II departed in June to accept a similar position in neighboring Bertie County. One month later, Finance Director Sandy Pittman and HR/Risk Management Director Keri Askew abruptly resigned, followed by veteran Tax Assessor Sylvia Anderson announcing her retirement.

Anderson’s position was filled at this past Monday’s meeting when Sandy Brock-Justice was approved by the board and accepted the oath of office. The county is still advertising the vacancies in the Finance and HR/Risk Management departments.

Hertford County is also seeking an Economic Development Director. That position has been vacant for over one year, and the board, at Monday’s meeting, approved a job description for an ED Director.

Williams came to Hertford County as its manager in mid-August of 2005. She replaced the now late Don Craft, who retired in March of that same year citing health reasons. Craft had served as county manager for 15 years.

Prior to coming to Winton, Williams served as the Warren County Manager from March 1997 until late July of 2005.


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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