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News General

After holding the position as County Manager for nearly a year, Derek Roland was offered a formal contract for employment during the November board meeting of the County Commissioners.

The vote, which was unanimous, was intended to give Roland a little extra job security. Until last month, Roland was working basically on a month to month basis and had been since he replaced long-time County Manager Jack Horton last December.

The suggestion to offer Roland the contract was made by Commissioner Jim Tate, who said that he wanted to ensure Roland and the county understands the exceptional job Roland has done since being hired.

“A year ago when we were considering who to hire as our next county manager, one of the selling points about you was the fact you were the only applicant who didn’t request a contract for employment,” said Commissioner Tate. “You were extremely confident in your abilities, your desires and your works to be the county manager of Macon County; it was very impressive that it was more to you than just the money. And the fact that Roland's was asking considerably less that what the other applicants were asking for."

The board of commissioners unanimously agreed with Tate and praised Roland for the work he has done for the citizens of Macon County in the past year. “When we hired you, you were thrown immediately into the fire and handled it all with style and class,” said Roland “You didn’t handle the job any differently than the way we had expected. We are thankful and grateful for your efforts, and we as board would like to reward you for your efforts and offer you an employment agreement contract.”

In addition to outlining Roland’s annual salary of $100,000, the contract states that Roland must remain a permanent resident of the county unless otherwise approved by the board. Roland’s contract also stated that he will be granted an annual travel allowance of $6,000.

Roland began working for the county in March of 2009 when he was hired as the county planner. After serving as county planner for three years, in March 2012, Roland made the transition to town planner to replace long-time planner Mike Grubermann. Roland served as the planner for the town of Franklin until last December when he rejoined the county payroll. Roland earned a B.S. Degree in Business Administration and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Western Carolina University.

Beginning next July, Macon County residents can expect to see on average a 14.8 percent decrease in their property value due to the 2015 tax revaluation. The change in value, which varies based on type of property as well as location within Macon County, will bring Macon County to a .33 millage rate per $100 in Macon County. As it stands right now, at .27 millage rate per $100, Macon County has the lowest property tax rate in the state. The increase will result in Macon County now being the 5th lowest in the state.

Property tax rates need to produce about $25 million annually in order for the county to maintain a revenue neutral budget and be able to provide the current level of services to citizens.


Children were on their best behavior as Santa Claus was spotted all over town this past weekend at the Winter Wonderland celebration in downtown Franklin as well as at the annual Franklin Christmas Parade on Sunday.

Next Saturday will feature a Gingerbread Competition at Town Hall and the second night of Winter Wonderland from 5 to 8 p.m.



Across North Carolina Monday morning, newly-elected government officials took their Oaths of Office. Macon County’s ceremonies kicked off Monday morning at the courthouse with the swearing in of Macon County Sheriff Robert Holland. Holland, who will be serving his fourth term as sheriff, was sworn in with the help of his wife Marci, and their two children.

"I'm honored to be given the opportunity by the citizens of Macon County to continue serving as Sheriff. The only guarantee I will make to the citizens of Macon County is that they will continue to get the very best of all of us at the MCSO and we will remain committed to making a difference. I am proud of our accomplishments during my 12 years as sheriff but I realize there is still more work to be done..."


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