Town Manager

Town Manager

John Ward was hired as the Town Manager in 2014 and has managed the Town of Boone with vision, leadership, honesty, and integrity in a community facing the challenges of a global pandemic, business shut-downs, and a local health crisis, but also a community that is challenged by managing growth, sustainability, a vibrant student population, and year-round tourism. He has worked with citizens, staff members, business owners, elected officials, and community constituents to bring Boone through unprecedented challenges while keeping local businesses afloat and community members safe and healthy.

 During his service as Town Manager of Boone, John has:

  • Successfully executed the $42 million Boone Water Intake and Water Treatment Plant Upgrade project, Boone’s largest infrastructure project in the town’s history
  • Managed the rezoning, permitting, and inspections for the $100+ million ASU Health Science Center, the ASU end zone 
  • Partnered with the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country to restore Boone’s downtown 600+ seat historic theatre providing cultural programming for the community
  • Encouraged eco-friendly development and redevelopment, supporting year-round eco-tourism, and increasing opportunities for outdoor recreation by expanding the Boone Greenway and town-owned greenspace
  • Served as a frequent guest lecturer at Appalachian State University 
  • Provided vision and leadership for staff members and the community through an unprecedented global pandemic
  • Secured more than $8 million in grant funds for Town Council initiated projects
  • And he is currently closing in on the Town Council’s bold goal to become energy independent and carbon neutral by 2030

John’s success as a leader in local government is in part because he has worked in so many roles in local, state, and federal government over the course of his 30+ year career, from his experience as a Town Manager to a County Marshal to a Park Manager to a Police Officer to a Wildland Firefighter to a Planning Director, and even an Environmental Educator. He has been a fully credentialed manager through the International City/County Management Association since 2011 and brings knowledge and professionalism to everything he does. In 2021, John was honored by the High Country Council of Governments as the Outstanding Local Government Manager of the year. 


  • Appoint and suspend or remove all town officers and employees not elected by the law, in accordance with general personnel rules, regulations, policies or ordinances as the Council may adopt;
  • Direct and supervise the administration of all departments, offices, and agencies of the Town, subject to the general direction and control of the Council, expect as otherwise provided by law
  • Attend all meetings of the Council and recommend any measure that he deems expedient
  • See that all laws of the state, the Charter and the Ordinances, and the Resolutions and Regulations of the Council are faithfully executed within the Town;
  • Prepare and submit the annual budget and capital program to the Council;
  • Annually submit to the Council and make available to the public a complete report of the finances and administrative activities of the Town as of the end of the fiscal year;
  • Make any other reports that the Council may require concerning operations of town departments, offices, and agencies

Quarterly Reports