ORANGE COUNTY – Orange County Manager Frank Clifton announced Thursday he will resign, effective September 29, 2013.

Chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners, Barry Jacobs, and commissioner, Penny Rich, said the decision did not come as a shock. The Board was notified via email Thursday morning.

WCHL spoke with Jacobs and Rich just after the announcement was made public. You can hear the full interviews below:

Barry Jacobs:

Penny Rich:

Clifton’s Resignation Letter Sent to BoCC:

June 27, 2013

Chair-Commissioner Jacobs, Vice Chair- Commissioner McKee, Commissioners Pelissier, Rich, Dorosin, Price and Gordon – CC: John Roberts-County Attorney and Donna Baker-Clerk to the Board

Soon, I celebrate another anniversary of my 39th birthday. My wife and I have decided to pursue challenges and opportunities that allow us to achieve goals we value together.  Hence, per my employment agreement (90-day written notice) I advise of my intent to resign as Orange County Manager effective September 29th, 2013 and register for retirement from NCLGRS thereafter.

As County Manager, I recognize not all my recommendations and/or actions were viewed in a positive light by everyone.  That is not unexpected. Doing the public’s business is not without criticism.  The intent always focused on the best interest of the whole County and its future.  Together we faced difficult issues, with actions leading to successful outcomes.  Not every decision pleased everyone.  That is the nature of the activities in which we engage.

I will attend regularly scheduled meetings and work sessions of the Board through the end of September continuing to assist the Board as required during the remaining months of my tenure.   I appreciate the opportunity to have served as Orange County Manager the past four years.  It has been an interesting and a unique experience.

Public service (elected or appointed) is both a privilege and challenge that comes with substantial personal responsibilities to all that choose to participate. Private lives become too public.  Innermost thoughts become targets for disagreement.  Many may oppose a course of action, but only those serving roles as public leaders are held accountable for final outcomes.  Anyone may offer solutions, but in the end a limited few are challenged with responsibility for the ultimate decisions.

When County Commissioners make decisions it is County Staff’s responsibility to make those decisions work. You need to recognize and appreciate the true foundation for successful Orange County programs, services and community outreach comes from staff that on a daily basis serve the needs of the residents of Orange County faithfully, with integrity and a personal commitment to meeting the needs of others.  I hold the highest respect for County Staff’s ability to face every challenge in a professional and successful manner. They are highly qualified and dedicated individuals.  The County Staff make things work for Orange County and its Citizens.

I appreciate the opportunity to have known each of you individually.  Although we cannot always agree, I do think we forged outcomes that will last beyond our stay in the public light.  That is something to value as a memento of our time together.  My best wishes to Orange County and its Citizens always.


Frank W. Clifton, Jr.

Orange County Manager