ASHEBORO – County Manager Hal Johnson has announced his plans to retire at the end of the year.
Johnson shared the news at the end of the Randolph County Commissioners meeting on Sept. 5. He told the room that his retirement will be on Dec. 31, 2023, and Jan. 2 will be his last meeting in the position.
Johnson started working for the county in 1975. He’s been county manager for the past nine.
"It's been an honor being part of Randolph County government for 48 years," he said. "Back then, we used oil lights, not electricity. Just kidding. The historic courthouse was the courthouse. I've had the honor of seeing so much change and being a part of it."
Commissioner Chairman Darrell Frye asked for a motion to raise Johnson's salary this year to $200,000, effective July 1. He said Johnson worked for much lower pay compared to neighboring counties and with fewer staff to support him. The board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
"It's deserved. We aren't giving him anything that he hasn't earned," Frye said.
The chairman highlighted Johnson's role in founding Randolph County's Historic Landmark Preservation Commission, chairing the Tourism Development Authority and his work on economic development.
"There were a lot of things he was instrumental in bringing to this county, making sure they were done right," Frye said. "You can always count on Hal."
Johnson praised the Randolph County staff in his remarks. "The county is strong. I look at staff that's here, and we've really been through it over the years, and will continue over the months. We have a strong organization. I can't go on enough about them."
He also told everyone that his first grandchild is due in November. "We're looking forward to that next chapter in our lives."
Johnson graduated from Asheboro High School. He served in the U.S. Army before joining the Randolph County government. He was previously director of planning and zoning.
The county manager is appointed by the Board of Commissioners. Duties include overseeing all county departments, representing the county in dealings with other governmental units and agencies, recommending an annual budget, and overseeing programs and operations pursuant to the policies, ordinances and directives adopted by commissioners.