Guilford County Manager Mike Halford attended his first public meeting as the new county manager on Thursday, Jan. 7. 

Halford, who served for years as Guilford County’s budget director before taking a job as the assistant county manager in Gaston County earlier this year, was back in business with the Guilford County Board of Commissioners at an afternoon work session and a regular meeting right after that – but now he’s wielding more power than before.

Halford didn’t get much of a honeymoon welcome on Monday Jan. 4, his first day.  When he started the job that morning, he had to, along with other county staff, conduct an assessment of major water damage at the county’s High Point courthouse.  Halford also had to jump into the nuts and bolts of the county’s COVID-19 vaccination plan. 

There was also plenty of business in the Thursday meetings, including pandemic updates, a proposed new development in Summerfield and the allocation of federal pandemic relief money.

Halford, who has worked in local government for nearly three decades, holds an undergraduate degree in Business Management and a Master’s in Public Administration, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He was a welcomed addition to the county staff after the departure of former County Manager Marty Lawing. His hiring was a unanimous decision by the board.

Halford, who’s now making $226,125 a year as county manager, was as quiet as a mouse during his first public appearance as manager – an afternoon work session.  When he was budget director, he talked frequently, but that was in part because he was called on so frequently.

Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston said this week that he is expecting Halford to help to move the county “forward by leaps and bounds” thanks to his “extensive knowledge and understanding of our budget.”

Halford put out an official statement Thursday saying that he’s “extremely honored to serve as Guilford County’s Manager” and “very appreciative to the Board of Commissioners for giving me this opportunity.”

“I look forward to working with citizens, staff and the Board of Commissioners to build on the county’s past success to ensure we provide excellent services and promote a high quality of life for our residents,” he added. “My family and I have always loved being a part of this amazing community.”

Halford and his wife, Karen, have three school-aged children.