Forsyth commissioners holding listening sessions on next county manager

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 9, 2023

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The Forsyth County commissioners are holding two listening sessions on Dec. 4 to seek citizens’ input on what qualities they would like to see in the next county manager. 

The first session is Dec. 4  11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Central Library auditorium, 660 W. 5th St. in Winston-Salem, and the second is 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at the Mazie S. Woodruff Center of Forsyth Tech, 4905 Lansing Drive in Winston-Salem.

The current county manager, Dudley Watts, announced his plans to retire at the end of June 2024. The county will advertise the position and conduct a nationwide search, with the commissioners appointing a new manager in the spring of 2024.

Forsyth County is the fourth largest county in the state with a diverse population of more than 385,000 residents. Forsyth County government has more than 2,500 positions in more than 25 departments including public health, behavioral health services, social services, sheriff’s office, public libraries, county parks, animal services, elections and Smith Reynolds Airport. The annual operating budget of the county is nearly $570 million. Education is the county’s largest service area in terms of expenditures, with nearly $161 million going to Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools this fiscal year.

The county manager is responsible for supervising county operations in accordance with the laws, regulations, policies, direction and guidance made by the commissioners. The manager is responsible for preparing and submitting an annual budget to the commissioners and advising them on financial matters, services and other issues.