Regional agency welcomes new Executive Director

David Bone

NEW BERN – The collective sigh of relief was almost palpable Thursday evening, June 9, as 20 or so elected officials – from a nine county area – met David Bone, a veteran of North Carolina county and town governments, recently hired by the Eastern Carolina Council of Governments (ECC) as the agency’s Executive Director.

In recent years, ECC has seen a litany of travails, which culminated in July of 2021 with the abrupt firing of a previous executive director, and the equally abrupt resignation of its contracted law firm.

During a brief presentation, Bone came across as knowledgeable, capable, and experienced. – just the ticket for this group of soldiers who have been looking for a strong, responsible commander. Bone’s resume meshes well with the goals and vision of the agency – one of 16 multi-county planning and development entities in the state, all charged by the governor with tackling regional priorities and problems.

Bone said he has already met with several county managers, and intends to “attend plenty of public meetings.” He pledged a steady hand at the helm, adding “there is no reason to re-invent the ECC wheel. We should celebrate our success!”

Pamlico County Commissioner Ed Riggs, Jr. serves on ECC’s board of directors (also known as the executive committee)– a group of five or so who directed the hiring search.

“We are very excited to have someone like David take on the role as Executive Director,” said Riggs in a written statement. “With his knowledge of local government, his ability to work with elected officials, and along with his leadership skills, he will play a vital role in rebuilding the ECC back to what it was intended to be.  The executive committee looks forward to working with him and expect great things in the months and years to come.”

For the coming fiscal year, which begins July 1, ECC has a $9 million budget. Most of its revenue comes from state and federal sources. The lion’s share of these funds are allocated for aging-related needs. However, ECC also offers important guidance, resources, and staffers to assist local governments with transportation matters and economic development issues.

ECC serves a land mass of 5,710 square miles with a population of over 645,000 across Carteret, Craven, Duplin, Greene, Jones, Lenoir, Onslow, Pamlico, and Wayne counties.