Jeff L. Thigpen Register of Deeds

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

J.D. Rowland Retires.

J.D came by yesterday morning after he informed the County Manager of his resignation as Budget Director after 33 1/2 years. We shared some special moments talking about our mutual respect for each other and I'm truly honored to have the opportunity to work with him.

J.D. Rowland is THE definition of "public servant". I cannot say how much integrity and class he carries within and I strive to have his commitment. JD has had the truest and purest desire for the goodness of Guilford County government that I've ever seen. While the public sees the ongoing craziness (and insanity experienced or insanity manufactured or accurately or inaccurately reported on in mass), JD has always been a stabilizing force as Budget Director.

I have so many fond memories, but I'll only share one. In 2003, when our Board was totally split on the hiring of a county manager after Roger Cotten retired, we offered JD the position. He turned us down at least 5 times privately.... But the way he turned us down was truly inspiring and he challenged us to get beyond our differences and work together on the decision ultimately. In closed session we unanimously 11-0 voted to hire JD. And yes, he turned us down once again--but the tone of the discussion and debate changed. We had so many good things to talk about with him. JD's mere presence and authority helped us make a way out of no way.

Within the hour we unanimously hired Willie Best as our new manager.

JD, of course, would never take any credit and would only say privately that he was grateful if God used him to help us through a difficult situation.

The Board of Commissioners will surely find a new Budget Director. My hope and prayer is that they can find a true public servant like JD Rowland.

I can't wait to see how JD's granddaughter develops and grows because she'll be getting a full-time Grandfather!

Good luck JD. I'm sure you know God has done great things with you as Budget Director. Farewell my friend.


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