Everyone knows that the Oscar and the Emmy ceremonies include announcements of Lifetime Achievement Awards, but people might not realize that those awards are also handed out to county budget directors. People also might not realize that the new winner of that award is Guilford County Budget Director Mike Halford.

At the Guilford County Board of Commissioners’ Thursday, Feb 6 meeting, Halford will be honored by the commissioners as the recipient of the “John ‘Jack’ Vogt Lifetime Achievement Award handed out by the North Carolina Local Government Budget Association (NCLGBA) – a professional organization made up of “people interested in the exchange of knowledge for individuals concerned with budget and evaluation responsibilities of local government.”

The award is named after a prominent budget expert who was formerly a professor with the NC School of Government in Chapel Hill.

Halford was sponsored for the award by his boss, Guilford County Manager Marty Lawing.

The Lifetime Achievement Award each year recognizes “outstanding commitment to the advancement of local government budgeting and evaluation” and recognizes “individuals who have advanced the field of budgeting and/or evaluation in North Carolina local government.”

The nominees have to have at least ten years of local government service in the state and must demonstrate innovation in local government budgeting practices. They also have to show a strong and ongoing commitment to the field of budgeting and have a passion for mentoring others who’ve chosen government budgeting and evaluation as their profession.

In recent years, Halford has often had to be highly innovative in order to help the county commissioners find money the county needs for desired projects – and he’s had to help the board be frugal with taxpayer dollars. Guilford County hasn’t raised property taxes since 2012 – when the Republican majority took control of the board – however, despite that, the county has embarked on some multi-million dollar projects such as a new mental health center, new animal shelter, new Sheriff’s Department headquarters and a new Emergency Services vehicle maintenance facility.