Albemarle city manager announces he will retire after more than 30 years with city

Albemarle City Manager Michael Ferris has announced his intention to retire in February 2024 after 30 years of service in local government.

Michael Ferris

“I could have never imagined the career I would have with the City of Albemarle,” said Ferris. “It is impossible to recount all the co-workers I have had the pleasure to serve with, the public I have interacted with and assisted, the memories made and accomplishments since my first day with the City. It is my coworkers and what we have been able to collectively achieve for the betterment of the City that I will miss the most.”

“On behalf of City Council and our citizens, I thank Michael for his years of dedication and skilled service to the City of Albemarle,” Albemarle Mayor Ronnie Michael said. “Michael has helped transform our community and make it better for everyone through his creative problem solving and steady guidance over the years. He developed a skilled and diverse workforce for the organization and set a high standard for leadership of the City. Michael’s experience will not be easily replaced. In the coming weeks, City Council will discuss the process to select the next city manager for the City of Albemarle.”

After serving internships and part-time work in Alamance County and Aberdeen, Ferris began full-time service in 1994 with the Town of Troy. In 1995, Ferris joined the City of Albemarle as assistant to the city manager and became Albemarle’s assistant city manager in 1997. Ferris was appointed city manager for the City of Albemarle in 2014 following the retirement of Ray Allen.

Ferris navigated Albemarle through the transition of a former textile mill town to a growing modern community with a bustling downtown, new residential and industrial development and new amenities and opportunities. He guided the effort to bring Pfeiffer University’s Center for Health Sciences, a satellite campus of Pfeiffer University, to Albemarle’s downtown. Ferris positioned the downtown for revitalization through the creation of a streetscape master plan.

Ferris also led the development of the Albemarle Business Center, which will create new career opportunities for the community. Ferris brought strategic leadership, visioning and enhanced financial planning to the city’s processes. During his tenure as manager, Albemarle implemented the city’s first strategic plan, designed to align the priorities of the community and leaders. Ferris managed the city through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic ensuring the city and its employees found ways to maintain public services.

Ferris has been a member of International City and County Manager Association (ICMA) since 1992. He became an ICMA-Credentialed City Manager from the first year of eligibility. In 2022, Ferris received ICMA recognition for his 30 years of service to local government.