Richard J. White III will be returning to Carrboro as the new Town manager on Aug. 23, 15 years after his departure from Carrboro local government.
White will be replacing current Town Manager David Andrews, who will be retiring on July 31.
White graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill as a Morehead Scholar and obtained a master’s degree in public administration from North Carolina State University. Since then, White has gained 24 years of experience in local government leadership roles in his hometown, Asheville, as well as Elon, Athens-Clarke County in Georgia and Carrboro.
“Since leaving Carrboro, he’s gained some really good experience,” Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle said. “His work very much embodies a lot of the values that are really important to our town and to our residents.”
White said he didn’t realize the opportunity existed for him to come back to the place where he started his career.
“I think now is a great time to return considering the kinds of things the town is working on including downtown redevelopment, the 203 project and racial equity,” White said.
White currently serves as Assistant City Manager and interim Equity and Inclusion Director for Asheville. Through such roles, White has helped contribute to the City’s COVID-19 response and has participated in racial justice initiatives such as the Vance Monument Task Force and the Council’s Reparations Resolution for Black Asheville.
“The Town of Carrboro will be continuing our efforts to address systemic racism and social injustice through racial equity trainings and reimagining community safety task force, so Mr. White will be bringing a wealth of experience as we deal with those issues,” Carrboro Town Council member Susan Romaine said.
White served as Town Manager of Elon prior to his role in Asheville. There, White aimed to ensure that the Town was ready for any future growth and development. White also led projects such as installing high fences along railroads to reduce safety hazards, obtaining Main Street designation and providing fire service to a large retirement community known as Twin Lakes.
Through White’s role as Carrboro Town manager, he said he strives to ensure that the Town grows in a smart, financially stable way, and to make sure that the downtown remains strong and vibrant for the future.
Additionally, he said he is passionate about encouraging the residents’ participation in local government, promoting racial equity and helping the Town Council achieve its goals.
“I’ve had a wide range of opportunities to serve in communities that, like Carrboro, have a very strong sense of community pride that values cultural diversity within its community,” White said. “I think that the fact that I’ve been there for five years not only gives me a level of familiarity with the town, but it also allows me to bring a new perspective because I’ve seen other communities and can bring different ideas to Carrboro.”
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