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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Macon County Manager Jack Horton Announces Retirement Effective Oct 1, 2013

Jack Horton

Macon County Manager Jack Horton has made the announcement that he is retiring from his position effective October 1, 2013.

The text of the letter he presented to the board and media is below:

To: Macon County Board of County Commissioners
Chairman: Kevin Corbin
Vice Chair: Ronnie Beale
Commissioner: Ron Haven
Commissioner: Jim Tate
Commissioner: Paul Higdon


It was Monday February 9th, 1976 when l walked in to the County Administrative Offices in Swain County and began what turned out to be a career in local government that has spanned more than three and a half decades. In addition to Macon County, I have served as County Manager in three other counties as well as two years as a City Manager. With my service in local government now more than thirty six years, the time has come for me to make the difficult decision as to how much longer l intend to work in this capacity.

During my career, l have served a multitude of Boards and have had the privilege of working with literally hundreds of dedicated Department Heads and County Employees. It has been my pleasure to serve Macon County on two different occasions, first, from October 1985 until March 1991 and currently since January 2008. l am indeed proud of the many accomplishments that have been made since becoming your County Manager. During my first term of service with Macon County, we built the Business Development Center (incubator), the SCC Public Safety Training Center, added on to the Macon County Public Library, made school improvements following a bond referendum, and last but not least, sited and permitted the current Sanitary Landfill. Since returning to Macon County, l have been privileged to be involved in many worthwhile projects that will provide long term benefits to the citizens of Macon County. Together we have constructed three new schools, Mountain View intermediate, the Early College High School, and lotla Valley Elementary. We also expanded East Franklin Elementary School renovated Nantahala School, renovated and made improvements, including a new soccer field, to the Highlands School, and made improvements to Franklin High School. We were able to provide $1,500,000-for county-wide school system information technology upgrades.

In terms of infrastructure, we have completed the long overdue Little Tennessee/ Cartoogechaye Sewer interceptor, the Highway 28, Riverbend, Swiss Colony water projects, an extension to the Macon County Airport runway, and added a new solid waste transfer station in Highlands.

We acquired and renovated a new Sheriff's Office on Palmer Street, renovated the Barrett Building with a state of the art Emergency Communications Center, passed an Animal Control Ordinance, constructed and put into operation a new Animal Shelter, renovated and relocated our Franklin EMS Base to the Holly Springs Shopping Center, renovated the old Library into a new Senior Services
Community Resource Center, renovated the Hudson Library in Highlands, renovated the Business Development Center and created new opportunities for small business entrepreneurs , acquired the historic McCoy Bridge, and the Cowee School for a Macon County Heritage Center, acquired the Parker Meadows property for a new parks and recreation facility, made improvements to the County Recreation Park Pool and Pool House, created the Macon County Medallion of Honor in recognition of those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to improve Macon County, refinanced existing long term debt, thereby saving the county over $2,700,000, put in place a comprehensive long range development plan as well as a comprehensive county employee job description, classification, and compensation plan.

I am pleased that we have cultivated good working relationships with the Board of Education, and our municipal governments of Franklin and Highlands, and l sincerely hope the joint meetings we started will continue in the future.

Over the past five and a half years, with responsible financial planning, Macon County has consistently maintained one of the lowest property tax rates in the state, while maintaining a strong fund balance, providing a consistent level of service to our citizens, and increasing our bond rating from an A to an A+.

These things don't just happen by accident, they happen because people of vision work together toward the common good for all citizens.

l have enjoyed my tenure with Macon County as your County Manager. l am thankful for the support, and respect l have received from the Macon County Board of Commissioners, our county employees, and the citizens of Macon County, but the time has come for me to consider retiring from my profession
and to pursue other goals and objectives that l have long ignored or postponed. lt is my intent therefore to retire from my position as your County Manager October 1st, 2013.

l will assist the Board in any way as you prepare for the recruitment and selection of a qualified replacement to serve you as Macon County Manager.

Respectfully Submitted,
C. Jack Horton