Local Politics

Wake County announces David Ellis as new county manager

Posted February 12, 2018 1:09 p.m. EST
Updated July 13, 2018 1:41 p.m. EDT

— The Wake County Board of Commissioners announced Monday that it has named David Ellis, who has been serving as interim county manager, to the top post, where he will become the first black person to serve in that role.

Eillis takes over the position after former County Manager Jim Hartmann stepped down from the post four months ago.

“I’m proud of the work that the Board of Commissioners, staff and I have accomplished together during my tenure here,” Hartmann said in a statement last year while announcing the decision.

Before announcing the pick, the commissioners had whittled down the list to three finalists, including Ellis.

  • Barry Burton, who has worked as the county administrator for Lake County, Ill., since 2002.
  • Bonnie Hammersley, who has worked as the Orange County manager since 2014.

The county manager is tasked with drafting Wake’s $1.26 billion budget, managing county departments, making recommendations to county commissioners and representing the county during community events.

"This county comes together like no other to work on issues, and while there are a lot of things to work on, I am not doing it alone," Ellis said. "I am doing it with a team of folks who are very talented."

In Wake County, funding must be found for education and school construction and that could mean getting a bond passed later this year.

Wake's surging population growth is also putting a strain on the county. It is estimated that more than 65 people are added to Wake County's daily population.

Before coming to Raleigh, Ellis had served as an assistant city manager in Charlottesville, Va.

According to his biography, he has worked in local government for at least 20 years. In his role as deputy manager, Ellis managed community services.

During his remarks, Ellis said he was pleased to serve the community and looked forward to following in the footsteps of previous Wake county managers.

The board was expected next week to officially approve Ellis' hiring by approving his contract.