Anyone who reads the local news knows that Guilford County government just filled one of its assistant manager spots by nabbing the long-time director of the Forsyth County Department of Social Services. 

But what many people may not realize is that Guilford County has done the exact same thing before. Seven years ago, when Guilford County was looking for a head of its Health and Human Services Department, Guilford County also robbed Forsyth County of its social services director.

This week, the county announced that Victor Isler, who was the social services director in neighboring Forsyth County, would be taking a job as assistant county manager under Guilford County Manager Mike Halford. 

 It’s not uncommon for Guilford County to hire employees who work for a neighboring county, but it is unusual to steal a county’s social services director – one of the most important jobs in county government. That department is typically one of the largest departments in any county.

In 2014, Guilford County lured former Forsyth County Social Services Director Joe Raymond away from that job in order for Raymond to become Guilford County’s first-ever Health and Human Services Director at a salary of $160,000 a year. (Raymond didn’t remain with Guilford County long. Almost exactly one year after he took the job with Guilford County, Raymond left for greener pastures – and no doubt more money.)

Forsyth County Manager Dudley Watts (pictured above) said it’s no fun losing a great employee like Isler, but Watts also seemed to take it all in stride.

Watts said Isler came to him recently and let him know he was considering taking the job with Guilford County.  Watts said he wasn’t surprised at all.

“I always knew he had ambition,” Watts said.  “We talked about that.”

Watts also said he’s fine with Guilford County taking his two social services directors and added that sometimes his county manages to nab employees from Guilford County.

“I just met two employees who came here from Guilford County,” he said.  “It made me really happy.”