NCLGBA: The People Who Balance NC Communities
We invite you to hear from North Carolina’s local government budget professionals who believe in the value of public service and consider it an honor to bring value to their communities in their respective roles. We are highlighting NCLGBA members who are an important part to the balance in their communities.
Today we will hear from Carteret County’s Teresa Fulk.
Carteret County is one of the most rapidly growing counties in North Carolina with over 60,000 residents, 526 square miles of land area, and a coastline of nearly 80 miles. The “Crystal Coast” is home to sounds, bays, rivers, and creeks all protected from the sea by lengths of the Outer Banks. The County is geographically the southernmost portion of the famed Outer Banks, bordered on the north by the Pamlico Sound and on the east and south by the Atlantic Ocean. Eleven municipalities are located within the county, and Morehead City is the largest. Beaufort, the third oldest town in North Carolina, serves as the county seat. Carteret County has established itself as a premiere vacation spot, with attractions such as Fort Macon State Park, North Carolina Aquarium, North Carolina Maritime Museum, and Cape Lookout National Seashore. Tourism in Carteret County has an estimated economic impact of $250 million annually.
What was the biggest challenge facing your community this fiscal year and how did you address as part of the budget development process?
This year was a revaluation year for Carteret County, and one of the biggest challenges we faced was an overall reduction in assessed values for the County. We had to look closely at all areas of the County and at the end of the day we were able to adopt a below revenue-neutral rate for the County.
What drew you to a career in public service?
I actually began my career in public service while I was still in high school. I drove a school bus my senior year in high school and that continued through my college years. I took a fulltime position in the Finance Department of the school system before I graduated from college and once I finished my degree I continued working for the school system. I left public service for a while and explored other avenues, but my love for working in local government brought me back in 2009.
What skills and lessons have been most important to your development as an analyst?
I feel that my diverse background allows me to look at things from a broader perspective. I feel this broader perspective allows me to help departments and divisions formulate budget requests that support the goals of the County as a whole.
How do you create public value for your organization?
I work with each department to help them plan and budget for the next year based on the goals and objectives of the department as well as the County as a whole. I also continue to work with them throughout the year to ensure that they are on track to meet their goals and objectives for the year.
What excites you most about FY 2016 in your community and your department?
Carteret County is in the beginning stages of implementing a Facilities Master Plan. This time of planning and building for the future is very exciting.
If you didn’t work in budgeting, what would you do?
If I didn’t work in budgeting or local government I have always thought that running a Bed & Breakfast would be interesting.
Tell us something about yourself that others may not know.
I am extremely shy, which makes it difficult for me to go outside of my comfort zone.