Brunswick County Manager Randell Woodruff announces retirement
County Manager Randell Woodruff
BOLIVIA, N.C. – Brunswick County Manager Randell Woodruff has announced his plans for retirement, closing a career in public service to North Carolina that spans more than three decades.
“I am appreciative to the Board of Commissioners for the opportunity to serve this county and am incredibly proud of the work we’ve achieved together,” Woodruff said. “We have an exemplary group of leaders and service-minded professionals within this organization, and I feel especially grateful and lucky that I get to close my career working alongside them all.”
Woodruff took the helm of the Brunswick County team in October 2019 with 16 years of experience in coastal county management. Some of his key highlights during his tenure include overseeing the renovation of the Brunswick County Courthouse, coordinating with Brunswick County Business and Industry Development on ways to support economic and industry development like Project Touchdown and utility access at local megasites, and maintaining the County’s strong financial position and enterprise bond credit ratings.
Vital infrastructure expansion and improvement projects at the Northeast Wastewater Treatment Plant and Northwest Water Treatment Plant (including the addition of a low-pressure reverse osmosis treatment system) saw significant progress under Woodruff’s leadership.
He also led the County through successful collaborations with the Town of Navassa and the City of Northwest to merge their utility systems to improve access and infrastructure longevity. In 2020, the County and the City of Southport unanimously authorized a sewer service agreement including the financing and construction of expanded capacity at the West Brunswick Regional Wastewater System.
Long-range planning initiatives and studies such as Blueprint Brunswick 2040, the NCDOT Brunswick County Comprehensive Transportation Plan, the Brunswick County Water and Sewer Master Plan, and the County Complex Site and Master Plan also began while serving as county manager.
“Randell has helped lead our county through several unforeseen or unexpected challenges over the past two years, providing stability and steady guidance through it all,” said Randy Thompson, chairman of the Board of County Commissioners. “On behalf of my fellow commissioners, I want to thank him for his work and for helping us continue to improve and provide exceptional services to our residents. We wish him and his family nothing but the best as he takes on this new adventure.”
Much of Woodruff’s time with the County ran parallel with the unexpected COVID-19 pandemic; despite these obstacles, the County maintained consistent levels of service through coordinated efforts to encourage staff to follow health guidance and best practices, the adoption of innovative and technology-driven practices to reduce staff exposure, and the development of an adaptable workforce pandemic response plan.
No stranger to the threats that impact coastal communities, Woodruff guided the County’s response and recovery efforts for two significant natural disasters: Hurricane Isaias in August 2020—where storm surge and tornadic activity caused significant damages both on the coast and inland—and the Grissettown EF-3 tornado in February 2021, one of the worst tornadoes to affect the southeastern portion state in more than a decade.
“Through disasters and pandemics, we have seen how exceptional our Brunswick County staff and community partners are in times of crisis,” Woodruff said. “I am proud to have worked alongside these amazing individuals and know that the county remains in great hands as we all move forward.”
Before coming to Brunswick County, Woodruff served as county manager of Pender County (2015-2019), Beaufort County (2011-2015), and Camden County (2003-2011). He began his career with the North Carolina Division of Adult Probation and Parole before transitioning to local government service with Lee County in 1995, where he served as director youth and family services for eight years.
Woodruff’s tenure as county manager will continue through January 2022. The County is currently conducting a search for candidates to serve as the next county manager.
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