A lot of people in Guilford County were sorry to see former County Manager Marty Lawing resign on Thursday, Dec. 17, but perhaps no one was as sorry to see that happen has former Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Jeff Phillips, who was instrumental in Lawing’s hiring and who worked intensely alongside Lawing for eight years.

On the news of Lawing’s resignation – one driven largely by new Chairman of the Board of Guilford County Commissioners Skip Alston – Phillips had plenty to say and a lot of praise for Lawing, who the county hired in 2013.

“Marty’s one of the best county managers in the state, if not the country,” Phillips said Thursday as news of Lawing’s departure made the rounds.

“More importantly,” Phillips added, “he’s one of the finest people in the public or private sector that I’ve had the opportunity to work with.”

Phillips a financial advisor who chaired the Guilford County Board of Commissioners three times during the last eight years, was the board’s point man on budget matters, which meant Phillips and Lawing often waded through the weeds of the budget numbers together looking for savings and additional revenue.

Phillips said Lawing’s work had greatly improved Guilford County’s situation.

“The county is light-years better off than it was before his arrival back in 2013,” Phillips said. “He deserves a ton of credit for our historic success over the past eight years.”

Phillips also said that, when people look back a few years from now, it will be “abundantly clear that this was one of this new board’s worst ever decisions.”

“I can’t say I didn’t see it coming,” Phillips said, “but that doesn’t make the news any less disturbing. Anybody who knows Marty and hears about his departure will see right through this board’s short-sighted political agenda. It’s truly a sad day in Guilford County. He deserved better treatment for all he’s done for our citizens.”