Cotton named Onslow County manager, county commissioners talk 2017-18 budget

David B. Cotten (Riley Eversull photos)

JACKSONVILLE, Onslow County - Interim County Manager David B. Cotton received a unanimous vote to become the full-time county manager on Wednesday.

The vote came at a special meeting called to discuss the 2017-18 proposed budget with administration and department heads. After the meeting, the board voted in Cotton. A swearing-in ceremony was held shortly after.

"we have a brand new county manager that we are pleased with, and all have agreed that he's done a good job working us through a proposed budget, and a balanced budget as required by law," board chairman Jack Bright said.

The board made several recommendations to amend the proposed budget to include:

-- Adding eight additional deputies to the Onslow County Sheriff's Office

-- Adding eight EMTs to Emergency Services

-- Adding 2.2 percent in funding to volunteer fire departments

-- A 2.7 percent pay increase for Onslow County government employees

-- The Commissioners earmarked a majority of the $500,000 mental health allocation toward the establishment of a Facility Based Crisis Center to meet the mental health needs in the community.

Amendments will be integrated into preparations for the final budget, which is expected to be adopted by June 30. A public hearing on the proposed budget will be held June 5 at 6 p.m. in the Commissioners' Chambers.