County Manager

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The County Manager is appointed by the Hertford County Board of Commissioners and serves as the county’s chief administrator, as defined in NCGS 153A-81. The County Manager is responsible for the day to day operations of the county and supervises all departments under the Board’s control. In addition the County Manager serves as the Budget Officer, who develops and presents the county’s operating budget, including revenues and expenditures, each fiscal year for the Board of Commissioners’ consideration and adoption. The County Manager is responsible for implementing the ordinances and policies adopted by the Board of Commissioners. In essence, the County Manager’s role is to ensure that Administration operates properly at the direction of the Board of Commissioners.

Mission:  To demonstrate a good return for tax dollars by delivering services that exceed the performance standards of the citizens that receive them. To this end, we will strive to create and maintain a work environment that, on balance, motivates Hertford County’s workforce to consistently excel in the provision of those services.  

DDavid B. Cotton Headshotavid B. Cotton, ICMA-CM currently serves Hertford County as the County Manager

He began his tenure with Hertford County when he was appointed as the Interim County Manager, Interim Assistant County Manager & Interim Finance Director on December 2nd, 2020.  David was appointed as the County Manager on July 1st, 2020.

David is a veteran of the United States Navy where he served as an Explosives Ordnance Disposal Diver.

He received his Bachelor’s Degree and Master of Public Administration from Appalachian State University. 

He has served in North Carolina local government since 1997.  He has served in both municipal and county management.  Seventeen of his twenty-three years, David has served as the Manager.

Prior to his appointment with Hertford County, David served Onslow County for approximately nine years as the Assistant County Manager, Deputy County Manager and most recently as the County Manager.

During his tenure with Onslow County, David spearheaded and oversaw many key initiatives and projects.  He was the catalyst and champion for implementing the High-Performance Organizational Model organization-wide, which encourages leadership at all levels within the organization.  He is looking forward to engaging Hertford County staff to implement the High-Performance Organizational Model here.

Prior to serving Onslow County, David served Haywood County as the County Manager, Moore County as the Assistant County Manager and County Manager, City of Randleman as the City Manager and the Town of Lake Waccamaw as the Town Manager.

David is dedicated to serving the community, staff development and organizational transparency.

He was named as the Assistant County Manager of the Year in 2012 by his peers at the North Carolina City / County Management Association. 

David is a member of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), North Carolina City/County Management Association (NCCCMA), Appalachian State University Local Government Alumni Association Board of Directors as well as maintaining his credentialed manager status with ICMA (ICMA-CM).

He is constantly seeking ways to improve himself as a manager and leader, attending leadership courses at the:

  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Public Executive Leadership Academy)
  • University of Virginia (Senior Executive Institute)
  • West Point (Battle-Tested Leadership Strategies for Executives: Lessons from the Army & West Point)
  • Harvard University (Senior Executives in State & Local Government).

Contact Information
David Cotton, County Manager

Telephone: (252) 358-7805
Fax: (252) 358-0198
115 Justice Drive, Suite 1
Winton, N.C.  27986