Rowan's No 2 administrator retiring
By Lee Barnes
Rowan County’s longtime No. 2 employee is retiring, effective Dec. 1.
Director of Administration Ken Deal is stepping down after 23 years in Rowan County government and a total of 33 years in state and county government.
Deal, 57, talked about retiring last year, but changed his mind after the economy “turned my 401(k) into a 201(k).”
The China Grove native is a 1974 graduate of Catawba College with a double major in business and economics. After college, he worked for the state in probation and parole and later served as a Department of Corrections administrative officer.
In 1986, Deal became Rowan County’s first-ever personnel director. As the job evolved, he became director of administration, serving as assistant county manager but without the title. His duties eventually included human resources, building maintenance, workers compensation, pre-trial release, the Rowan County Airport and Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium.
He ran last year for county commissioner but lost in the Republican primary. The U.S. Office of Special Counsel later said that because Deal was involved in federally funded airport improvement projects, he was not eligible to run in a partisan election. The office decided not to pursue any disciplinary action, saying Deal had not willfully violated the law.
Deal’s major duties of late have been overseeing renovation and expansion of county buildings.
“I think he’s done a great job,” said County Manager Gary Page.
Page said that because of the economy, he doesn’t see replacing Deal any time soon. Deal makes $102,000 per year.
“There’s a good chance we’ll have to freeze the position,” Page said.
Deal said that his plans include a possible move into the private sector.