Longtime Guilford County Budget Director Michael Halford has turned in his resignation.

That’s a very big loss for Guilford County government, which is just now starting to head into the fiscal 2020-2021 budget process that heats up in April and May and culminates with a brand new county budget in June.

According to a memo sent from Guilford County Manager Marty Lawing to the nine Guilford County commissioners, Halford submitted his resignation in order to accept a position as the assistant county manager of Gaston County.

Gaston County – where Gastonia is the county seat and the largest city – has about half the population of Guilford County, however, that assistant manager position may be a stepping-stone to a county manager slot for Halford one day.  

Lawing wrote in the memo, “This has been a career goal for Michael and we wish him much success in his new position.

Halford, who has served as the Guilford County budget director for over a decade, has often been called upon to do some very creative thinking. It’s not easy trying to find ways to finance large county projects and other needs when there are so many other demands on the county’s limited funds.

According to the memo, Halford’s last day with Guilford County County will be on Tuesday, April 28.

Others across the state have recognized Halford’s talent for numbers. At the Board of Commissioners Thursday, Feb. 6 meeting, Halford was honored by the commissioners as the recipient of the “John ‘Jack’ Vogt Lifetime Achievement Award. That recognition is 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 Lifetime Achievement Award each year recognizes “outstanding commitment to the advancement of local government budgeting and evaluation” and goes to “individuals who have advanced the field of budgeting and/or evaluation in North Carolina local government.”

Halford was sponsored for that award by Lawing, who now has a big hole to fill in Guilford County government.