Craig Honeycutt will begin work March 13 as Wayne County's new assistant manager.

Honeycutt, a Duplin County native, has served as county manager for Alamance County since April 2005.

The local position has been vacant for several months following former assistant manager Tommy Burns accepting the Carteret County manager position.

Burns, the former county manager for Harnett County, had worked for Wayne County since Dec. 2, 2014.

Philip Ponder had been serving as interim assistant county manager.

Ponder twice served as interim county manager for Gaston County. Prior to being named Gaston County assistant manager, he was the county's budget director.

He also is the former city manager for Kings Mountain and Mount Holly.

Commissioners created the assistant manager position in August 2014 by expanding the duties of the Office of Emergency Services director.

That job was left vacant in May 2014 after longtime county employee Joe Gurley retired and was appointed to a vacant seat on the commission.

Honeycutt has a BA in public administration from UNC Pembroke and a master's in public affairs from Western Carolina University.

He served the city manager of Laurinburg from August 2005 to April 2009. Prior to that, he was the town manager of Fletcher from July 1993 to August 2005.

He is an International City/County Management Association-credentialed manager and is currently the president of the N.C. City and County Management Association.

In that role, he also serves on the N.C. Association of County Commissioners board of directors.

"We are extremely pleased to have Craig join our senior management staff in Wayne County," County Manager George Wood said. "He has over 23 years of North Carolina local government management experience as well as a solid academic background.

"He is highly regarded by his management peers in North Carolina, who have selected him to be on the board of directors, then various officer positions in the N.C. City and County Management Association. I firmly believe he will do an outstanding job for Wayne County."

Honeycutt said he is looking forward to his new assignment.

"I appreciate the opportunity to come to Wayne County," he said. "It's like coming home, as I was born in Clinton and raised in Warsaw. I am excited to work with Mr. Wood, who is one of the most respected managers in our state.

"The more I have been relearning the community and the county's plans, the more I am impressed."