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The original item was published from 7/22/2015 10:27:04 AM to 9/2/2015 12:00:02 AM.

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Posted on: July 22, 2015

[ARCHIVED] Burlington City Manager Announces Retirement

Harold Owen

Burlington City Manager, Harold Owen, announced today that he will be retiring on September 1, 2015, after 40 years of service with the City of Burlington. Mr. Owen has served in the role of City Manager since 2002 before which he served in Human Services and then as the Director of the City’s Recreation and Parks Department.

“It is time that I make the very difficult decision to retire from the City Manager’s position,” said Owen. “I cannot pretend I am not without sadness making this decision, and I have struggled in determining the proper time to do so.” He adds, “It has always been my opinion that there comes a time that every organization needs new leadership, providing opportunities for new faces and different ideas.”

During Owen’s 27 year tenure with the Recreation & Parks Department, he spearheaded numerous projects that changed the face of the Recreation & Parks in Burlington including:

• Construction of North Park Community Center
• Construction of Fairchild Community Center
• The Restoration of the Historic Dentzel Carousel
• Acquisition and Development of Davidson Park
• Planning and Construction of Lake Mackintosh Park and Marina
• Renovation of Indian Valley Golf Course
• Construction of Elmira Community Center
• Initial Recreation and Parks Master Plan
• Planned upgrades for City Park’s Amusement Area
• Planned and coordinated construction of the Maynard Aquatic Center
• Planned and coordinated construction of the Burlington Tennis Center
• Planned and coordinated construction of the John Robert Kernodle Senior Center
• Coordinated renovation and expansion of the May Memorial Library
• Coordinated acquisition and development of Springwood Park
• Served as President of the North Carolina Recreation and Parks Association

Under his leadership as City Manager, Owen worked with City Council and staff on the following major projects:

• The initiation and implementation of the Water Resources rate structure
• The development of a City Information Technology Department
• Analysis and upgrade of City streets
• Planning and development of the University Drive/ Boone Station commercial area
• Implementation of a salary study for Police in an effort to retain quality officers
• The comprehensive Fire Department study resulting in the current construction of Fire Station VI
• Upgrade of Animal Services Operations, including the addition of the Spay & Neuter Clinic of Alamance County
• Renovation of the South and East Wastewater Treatment Plants
• Creation of the Burlington Connected (formerly CBC) program for submission of service requests by residents
• Renovation of the Burlington Athletic Stadium and retention of minor league baseball
• Transition to consumer-based health care plans for employees, utilizing deductions, national third-party administrators, and implementation of a strong wellness initiative and expansion of an employee-based health services facility.

“Mr. Owen is a true public servant,” said Mayor Ronnie K. Wall of Owen’s service. “In everything he does as City Manager, he does with the needs of the residents and the future of the City in the forefront of his mind.” Mayor Wall went on to comment that, “The City of Burlington is more financially sound, has more amenities, and is a better place to raise a family because of Mr. Owen’s work in both the Recreation & Parks Department and the City Manager’s Office.”

Of his career at the City of Burlington, Mr. Owen says, “I cannot begin to express my appreciation for the support I have been provided by all of our elected officials and my professional colleagues. I have appreciated the opportunity to serve our citizens while living in a community where my wife, Denane, and I could enjoy raising and educating our daughters.”

“In the coming month, the City Council will determine plans for the search for a successor to Mr. Owen as Burlington’s next City Manager,” said Mayor Wall.

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