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Alexander County Hires New County Manager 

In February of this year, the Alexander County Board of Commissioners embarked on an extensive hiring process to select the best candidate to serve as the next county manager. Hiring a county manager is one of the most important decisions that a board makes. It impacts the effectiveness of the board and the services to the residents and businesses of the county. 

The Alexander County Board of Commissioners is pleased to announce that Shane Fox will serve as the next county manager. The Board of Commissioners voted to appoint Mr. Fox as the county manager at their meeting on April 17, 2023, and he is slated to begin in the position on June 7, 2023. Fox was selected from a competitive pool of applicants across the region and state. In the end, the Board chose Fox due to a combination of his education, experience, and personal characteristics. 

Fox currently serves as the Town Manager for Blowing Rock in Watauga and Caldwell Counties, where he oversees a $16 million budget and all city operations with 120 total employees. He is a graduate of Caldwell Community College and Appalachian State University, with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Accounting. 

Chairman Marty Pennell said about Fox’s selection, “We are impressed with Mr. Fox’s knowledge and experience. His strong government management pedigree, coupled with his extensive finance background, will be a valuable asset across all county operations. We are excited for Mr. Fox to continue his excellence in developing and implementing strategic plans while cultivating partnerships for Alexander County’s success in his new manager role.” 

Mr. Fox said, “My family and I could not be more excited about the opportunity to be Alexander County’s manager. This is an unbelievably exciting time for Alexander County, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve the citizens and stakeholders. I am excited to work alongside an experienced and dedicated Board of Commissioners and with a proven team of professionals and teammates. Having grown up in the Dudley Shoals area of Caldwell County, I feel like I am coming back home, and I look forward to rejoining this community.” 

Some highlights and accomplishments include: 

  •  Mr. Fox has over eight years in North Carolina public sector management and over 14 years in private sector finance consulting, including ten years as an auditor at Martin Starnes, working with North Carolina local governments and non-profits. Martin Starnes began in Taylorsville in 1987 and is the current County auditor with strong ties to the area. 
  •  Fox oversaw significant grant acquisitions as the Blowing Rock Town Manager, including a $4.8 million water and sewer grant for Main Street water and sewer replacement and a Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) grant of $500,000. 
  •  As CFO and Deputy County Manager of Cleveland County, Fox developed and administered an annual budget of $120M allocated within 26 departments and 47 individual funds, including 13 active capital project funds. 
  •  While in Cleveland County, Fox re-engineered EMS and Central Collections, resulting in annual savings/earnings of $500K. 
  •  As the executive director of the High Country Council of Governments, he collaborated successfully with the NC Department of Commerce, Workforce Solutions, Rural Economic Development, Department of Aging, Appalachian Regional Commission and Economic Development Administration. 

The Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG) assisted Alexander County with the manager search process. The WPCOG is a regional planning, service, and economic development agency owned by and serves the 28 local governments in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, and Catawba Counties.