Assistant County Manager honored on June 26 | People
CATAWBA COUNTY - Assistant County Manager Lee Worsley has been honored with the Outstanding Assistant Manager Award for 2010 from the North Carolina City and County Management Association.
The award was presented to Worsley on June 26, during the Association’s recent summer conference.
Worsley was nominated for the award by Catawba County Manager Tom Lundy, who emphasized Worsley’s positive impact on Catawba County, the region and state in the areas of public safety, education and public outreach.
“Lee has had an outstanding career in local government in a very short period of time,” Lundy said. “He’s been an excellent member of our management team and has championed professionalism and improved service delivery and customer service, not only for Catawba County but statewide. This recognition by his colleagues is well deserved.”
“I am truly honored to receive this award, especially since it is voted on by my colleagues throughout North Carolina,” Worsley said. “When I was announced as this year’s recipient, it was a humbling experience and I immediately reflected on my own career, but more importantly I had an opportunity to thank all of the dedicated Catawba County employees that I have the privilege of working with every day. Their commitment to public service and to making this community a better place to work and live is what is really important. I love coming to work every day and working with our staff and our Board of Commissioners.”
In his nomination, Lundy relayed to the Association the many improvements in the use of technology by Catawba County Government under Worsley’s supervision.
These include a redesign of the County’s Internet site; the use of social media such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr to connect with citizens, an area in which Catawba County has been recognized as a national leader; a 2007 International City-County Management Association (ICMA) study of Catawba County’s citizen engagement practices, which led to new strategies being put in place; RSS feeds of County information and an e-mail newsletter for citizens that has won two major national awards; a comprehensive blog on state and federal legislation that impacts the County; and leadership in the creation of a citizen alert telephone notification system.
“Lee has made an especially significant mark in assisting many who are just starting out in local government management, and in helping even younger people appreciate the right to vote,” Lundy said. “He supervises Catawba County’s participation in the ICMA Fellows program, which provides young people who are working toward a profession in city and county management with practical work experience and is currently serving as President of the Appalachian State University Local Government Alumni Association. He has also served as President of the University of North Carolina Masters of Public Education Alumni Association, on the North Carolina City and County Management Association’s Civic Education Committee and on ICMA’s Task Force on Civic Education. He has strengthened Catawba County’s Kids Voting program, which is educating children on the importance of voting, including the hiring of its first executive director, and has also championed the creation of Catawba County’s first Youth Council.”
Worsley has had an overall positive impact on Catawba County Government in many ways, Lundy said in his nomination. He serves as acting county manager in the absence of the county manager and has direct, day-to-day supervision of the Budget, Emergency Services, Finance, Sheriff and Tax offices and the County’s state and federal legislative programs.
Most recently, Worsley has worked with other local government professionals toward a change in State law that would broaden the ways in which local governments can use revenue from an E-911 phone surcharge. The legislation passed the North Carolina House on June 22 and, if enacted into law, would provide an additional source of existing revenue that could be used to build a new 911 Center and Emergency Operations Center.
Catawba County is in need of a new 911 Center because the current center has no room for expansion or for new equipment to implement Next Generation 911 technology.
The Emergency Operations Center is 30 years old and is inadequate when activated for emergency situations. The County was cited by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in September 2006 for inadequate space at its Emergency Operations Center.
Worsley began serving as Assistant County Manager in Catawba County in March 2005. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science, with a concentration in town and city/county management, from Appalachian State University. In 1997, he earned a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
He served as County Manager in Greene County, North Carolina from March 2002 until February 2005. Prior to his service in Greene County, he was an Assistant to the City Manager in Goldsboro, North Carolina from mid 1999 through early 2002 and was a Special Assistant to the County Manager in Durham County, NC from late 1997 through mid 1999.
“Lee’s prior experience and service as manager on both the city and county levels has added value to Catawba County’s relationship with municipalities,” Lundy said. “While serving in cities and other counties, Lee left a legacy of outstanding public service that continues to resonate in eastern North Carolina.”
While serving as manager in Greene County, Worsley brought full time EMS coverage to that county for the first time, oversaw a revitalization of the economic development effort, developed the county’s first Geographic Information System and worked with the Greene County school system to enact the State’s first computer program where every middle and high school student was issued a laptop computer for the school year for use. As city manager of Goldsboro, he led the city in recovery from Hurricane Floyd and directed the city’s blossoming technology program.
Worsley has been a member of a number of state and national organizations, through which he has had a positive impact on local government well outside of his home region. He holds the ICMA Credentialed Manager designation, has served on ICMA’s Governmental Affairs and Policy Committee, is presently serving as Vice Chair of Kids Voting North Carolina, and is an Immediate Past President of the Rotary Club of Hickory and a member of Hickory Young Professionals.
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