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Henderson County Manager Steve Wyatt has promoted budget analyst Amy Brantley to assistant county manager, replacing David Whitson, who is leaving to become a church administrator in Candler.
"I want to first thank David for his contribution to Henderson County government and the citizens we serve," Wyatt said in a news release. "David brought a wealth and talent and ability to the position during his tenure. He is leaving the organization better than be found it and that is all anyone can really ask."
Brantley assumes the job on Feb. 1.
"Amy has proven her abilities through the years of the community and she understands the 'business' of Henderson County government and our standards and expectations as well as anyone," Wyatt said in a news release.
A North Carolina native, Brantley graduated from Illinois State University. She began her career in local government in Boulder County, Colo., working with the register of deeds and the elections department.
Returning to North Carolina in 1999, Brantley got a job with Henderson County government. She served as deputy clerk to the Board of Commissioners and in the human resources department before her promotion to her current job as research and budget manager.
Whitson is leaving a long public service career to pursue his dream of serving a growing church.
A 30-year employee of the state, Whitson had worked as vice president for finance at BRCC and two other community colleges before coming to Henderson County as assistant county manager in September 2011. About two years ago be began pursuing a second masters degree, in theological studies, from Liberty University.
About two years ago, the Rev. James I. Walker returned to the area after having served earlier in the fast-growing megachurch Biltmore Baptist. Walker, the son of former Hendersonville First Baptist Church pastor Ian H.C. Walker, became senior pastor of New Morgan Hill Baptist Church in Candler.
“About four years ago I guess I got this itch to do something different,” Whitson said. “I’d been doing the same work with the community college system for 30 years, and I had a growing desire to have a deeper understanding and knowledge of God. And so it so happened that I saw the opportunity at Liberty University, and took one class and liked it. … I just made the decision to retire and go into school fulltime.”
A year later, he took the post as assistant county manager but continued working toward his degree at Liberty.
“I just completed that last month,” he said. “And the opportunity at the church became available — I don’t think it’s a coincidence — at the same time that I finished the degree."
His last day is Jan. 31 but he plans to attend the Feb. 3 meeting of the Board of Commissioners to say farewell to board members and staff.