ORANGE COUNTY – Michael Talbert has been named interim Orange County Manager. He has served as the assistant County Manager since 2011.

Talbert told WCHL News that he doesn’t plan to apply for permanent position.

“I’m excited about the opportunity,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for me to keep going in the initiatives the Board already has underway and move forward with their goals for the next six months. I hope to provide some stability during the search for the next county manager.”

Barry Jacobs, Chair of the County Commissioners, said Talbert’s experience made him the right person for the position.

“We had several really good candidates and we were fortunate to have two outstanding internal candidates,” Jacobs said. “We decided to ask Mr. Talbert to serve the citizens of Orange County until we hire a permanent manager.”

The announcement was made at Tuesday night’s Board meeting.

Frank Clifton, who has been County Manager since 2009, said in June that he would step down effective on September 29.

The Board of Commissioners will begin meeting with consulting firms next month to assist in the County Manager search process.

“We have the benefit of having someone we already know and trust to be able to take our time to make sure that we get the right person for the permanent position,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs said that there were three candidates for the interim position, with one  of whom was from outside of Orange County. He said the other internal candidate had strong qualifications and will be able to apply for the permanent position.

Jacobs said Talbert assumed the leadership role for the county on several assignments, including a seat on the Rogers Road Task Force and as a staff liaison in improving infrastructure upgrades in the Emergency Services Department.

“He’s a deliberate, unassuming, intelligent, knowledgeable person for whom who have assigned some of the most difficult tasks with one person applying from outside of Orange County.

Talbert joined the County’s administrative team in 2010, with experience in financial services and management,and served as the Finance Director of Catawba County and County Manager of Polk County, both in North Carolina.