Graham city manager leaving to become county manager in Montgomery County

Graham’s city manager, Frankie Maness, is leaving after eight years in his position with the city, returning to Montgomery County in southern North Carolina where he will serve as county manager.

Maness came to Graham in 2005 as assistant city manager, having worked his first five years as city manager of Warsaw in eastern North Carolina.

In 2012 when then-city manager Chris Rollins took a position as assistant city manager in Mebane, Graham’s city council promoted Maness into the top spot.

Graham city manager Frankie Maness during a budget work session with the city council, here with Graham mayor Jerry Peterman.

Maness, 43, was selected Tuesday night by the Montgomery County board of commissioners for the position and began notifying Graham officials on Wednesday. He will work the 30 days’ notice required in his contract with the city council; he is scheduled to start work in Montgomery County in late February.

For Maness, going to Montgomery County will be a homecoming of sorts. Maness is from the small town of Star in Montgomery County. Maness pointed to the “driving force behind the move” being able to be closer to assist his aging parents, who still live in his hometown.

In an interview Wednesday night, Maness told The Alamance News that leaving Graham is “bittersweet,” noting that “Graham has been a large part of my life,” spending more than a third of his life here.

“Many of the friends and relationship developed here will carry me for the rest of my life,” he said.

“I wish Godspeed to Graham,” Maness said.

       One of the greatest accomplishments during Maness’ tenure as city manager was luring the German grocer Lidl to establish its first U.S. distribution center in Graham. The center, located in the Hawfields area industrial park, is currently the county’s largest industrial project, although forthcoming UPS distribution center just down the street (in Mebane), will be larger.
       Here, in 2015, Graham mayor Jerry Peterman welcomes Robert Lester, development manager for MGP Retail Consulting, LLC (a subsidiary of German grocer Lidl), to Graham; Alamance County Area Chamber of Commerce president Mac William (left); and Graham city manager Frankie Maness.

Maness is a 1999 graduate of Western Carolina University, where he also received a graduate degree in public administration two years later while he worked his first job as an intern with the city of Troy, the county seat for Montgomery County.

Maness, his wife Abby, and his three young daughters will be making the move in the near future. “We already have property and a house,” Maness noted.

In changing positions, Maness will also be moving from serving a non-partisan board in Graham to a partisan board of commissioners.


Maness at a Graham city council meeting.

Graham’s city council has made no decisions yet on Maness’ successor. It is expected that assistant city manager Aaron Holland will likely serve as acting city manager after Maness’ departure until the council decides on a permanent replacement.