Dove named county manager

By Vicki Hyatt | May 05, 2014

It’s official. Ira Dove is Haywood’s new county manager.

At Monday’s meeting, the county commissioners adopted a recommendation by Chairman Mark Swanger to name Dove officially to the position he’s held since January at a salary of $130,000.

The county will be advertising for a director of the Health and Human Services Department, a position Dove held simultaneously as he served as the interim county manager.

Dove replaces Marty Stamey, who was county manager for three years before retiring to work in the health care field.

“Ira has proven that he is an effective leader during these last few months as he’s presided over the transition to a new Health and Human Services agency and worked on preparing the county budget for Fiscal Year 2014-15,” said  Swanger. “We are confident that Ira is the right person to keep Haywood County moving forward for many years to come.”

After his appointment, Dove said it is his pleasure to continue serving the people of Haywood County.

“My greatest goal is to work very hard to take what is a very good situation for our citizens and do what I can to help this community to improve,” Dove said in an interview after the meeting.

Dove and his family moved to Haywood County in 2000 where he began working as an agency attorney with the social services department. He was named manager of the department in 2009 and oversaw the planning and transition when the commissioners decided to merge the health and the social services departments.

When Dove was named as interim county manager, Swanger noted he not only had a law degree, but ran a department with 28 percent of   the county's workforce and 24 percent of the county's budget.

In his new position, Dove said he will work with the county commissioners to meet their articulated goals and commitments, including ones to the senior citizen population, education and the new economic development model to be implemented in July through the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce.

“We are still working in a recovering economy,” Dove said. “The nation has moved ahead some, and there are hopeful signs for us here in the mountains.”

While he understood well the challenges facing the social service sector, Dove said his time as interim manager gave him a chance to work more closely with different sectors of the county, including law enforcement, emergency services and those associated with agriculture.

He said he looks forward to strengthening relationships with all county departments, as well as with the numerous organizations across Haywood that are doing great things to enhance life in the communities.

Prior to joining the Haywood County Department of Social Services, Dove worked as an attorney in private practice, and as a social worker for a charitable organization.

Dove lives in Waynesville with his wife, Angela, a published author, and their two children.