At the January 3 Harnett County Board of Commissioners meeting, Commissioners voted to appoint Brent Trout as the new Harnett County Manager.
“I would like to thank my fellow Commissioners for their hard work in selecting a new County Manager and ask them to join me in welcoming Mr. Brent Trout as the new County Manager,” stated Harnett County Board of Commissioners Chairman Lewis Weatherspoon. “Mr. Trout has real strengths in bringing people together to achieve goals, and he will be a great asset to Harnett County.”
Harnett County Commissioners hired Trout after a nationwide search by Slavin Management Consultants, an independent management consulting firm with over 30 years of experience working with public sector organizations.
“When the Board began the selection process, we listed several areas of expertise that we were looking for such as economic development, airport management, regional water and sewer management and a strong financial background,” continued Chairman Weatherspoon. “Mr. Trout has a great deal of experience in each of these areas, and will be a great leader for our County staff. I look forward to working with Mr. Trout as we continue to move Harnett County forward.”
Trout is succeeding George Wood, who served as Interim County Manager since May 17.
“I want to commend the Harnett County Board of Commissioners on their selection of Mr. Trout as their new County Manager,” stated Wood. “He brings a great deal of local government management experience and a solid track record of achieving results for the communities he has served. I am confident he will provide sound judgement and effective leadership as Harnett County continues to deal with rapid growth.”
Trout has over 30 years of experience in local government administration throughout Iowa and Kansas. He interned with the City of Des Moines (Iowa) City Manager’s Office and the Iowa Department of Economic Development and served as the City Administrator/Clerk for the City of Bancroft (Iowa), City of Eagle Grove (Iowa), City of Boone (Iowa), and Mason City (Iowa). In 2017, Trout was appointed as City Manager for the City of Topeka, the capital city of Kansas.
As City Manager of Topeka, Trout’s duties included budgeting, financial planning, public relations, economic development, zoning administration, and representing the City on various boards. During his tenure, he helped move Topeka forward by managing a comprehensive Capital Improvements Program for streets, water, sewer, storm sewer, and municipal buildings, creating the Strengthening Police and Community Partnership committee, and facilitating a contract to build Wheatfield Village, a multi-purpose entertainment, restaurant, hotel, and apartment complex. He also prepared Topeka’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) proposal for allocating over 45 Million dollars in additional funds received from the federal government to accomplish long-term goals.
As County Manager for Harnett County, Trout’s main duties will include supervising all County offices, departments, boards, commissions and agencies, and preparing and submitting an annual budget and Capital Improvement Program to Commissioners. He will also be tasked with building teams to provide quality services to the County’s citizens, while receiving direction and carrying out the vision of the Harnett County Board of Commissioners.
"I am truly excited to be selected by the Harnett County Commissioners to be their next County Manager,” stated Trout. “Harnett County is a growing area of the state, and I am thrilled to join the leadership team that will move the county forward.”
Trout continued, “There is so much potential for continued growth and prosperity in this beautiful part of the state. I feel like my experience and background serving in rural areas, as well as more recently working in a large city, have prepared me well for creating economic development and managing the operations of Harnett County. I look forward to working with the Commissioners, staff, and all the communities in the County."
Trout is a member of the International City/County Managers Association and earned his Credentialed Manager certification. He served as a Board member for GO Topeka and the Greater Topeka Partnership, an economic development group, and is a former member of the Iowa City/County Managers Association.
Trout earned a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration and Masters of Arts in Public Administration from Drake University.
In addition to his local government experience, he served 29 years in the Iowa Army National Guard, retiring in 2015 as a Lieutenant Colonel.
Trout will be sworn in as the Harnett County Manager during the Harnett County Board of Commissioners evening meeting on January 18.