Bessemer City’s Former City Manager Joins McGill

James Inman brings a wealth of knowledge to McGill’s consulting services team

James inman 2023 2Bringing over 38 years of local government experience, International City County Management Association (ICMA) credentialed manager James Inman joined McGill Associates on January 3, 2023, as a new Client Relationship Manager. James has seen first-hand how McGill helps communities bring their infrastructure plans to fruition.

James served most recently as City Manager of Bessemer City and also as the City Administrator of Locust. In Bessemer City, he improved operational efficiency, provided strategic leadership, and secured over $22 million in grant and loan funding. Bessemer City is home to one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of high-quality fresh fruits and vegetables. In support of this employer and the community at large, James was instrumental in regionalizing infrastructure, revitalizing downtown, and utilizing public and private partnerships to shape a more business friendly environment resulting in an increase in new businesses and manufacturing jobs.

“We are pleased that James is bringing his experience and talents to McGill. His heart for public service and proven track record as a strong, visionary leader will no doubt be an asset to our clients as they face the ever-challenging world of accomplishing capital projects and competitive economic development,” said McGill President Andy Lovingood. “James embodies our client partnership philosophy as one who sees through the issues to provide guidance and clarity in direction.”

James holds a Master of Science in criminal justice and began his career at the City of Locust as Chief of Police. He returned to the City of Locust seventeen years later in a new role as City Administrator, where he oversaw the development of a public-private partnership to create a new city center, including a library, banks, and new city hall, which has become the heart of economic growth in the community. James regionalized three sewer systems to collect wastewater and managed one of the largest vacuum sewer systems in the United States. McGill assisted the City in master planning and improvements of its sewer system, pedestrian planning, and work on the city hall. In both of these communities, McGill also assisted with the creation of development standards to ensure that future growth would meet the character and culture of the community and ensure proper planning for utilities and other infrastructure.


Thanks to a new interconnection and pump station, water flows from Gastonia’s Two Rivers Utilities to Bessemer City’s water distribution system. This multi-million-dollar project supports economic development by providing an auxiliary water supply to Bessemer City, which is an important factor in attracting new businesses. Click here to watch a video on this new water pump station.

During James tenure at the City of Bessemer City he worked with McGill on multiple infrastructure projects, including the Raw Water Intake, Public Works Facility Expansion, and Pavement Management Program, as well as award-winning park projects, including Stinger Park, Downtown Centennial Park Project, and Community Center.

Shaping Communities in North Carolina and Beyond

James has roots in Western North Carolina. He spent his childhood in the Town of Waynesville, where many of his friends and family still reside.

James inman spotlight 2023 1“My father retired from the Town of Waynesville, my family has served in local government for three generations in North Carolina, and two of my children continue in the tradition,” said James. “Service to your community is a calling; one where we are drawn to leave the world a better place than we found it. After retiring from the City of Bessemer City, I wanted to work at McGill as a natural extension of my public service. McGill has a motto of ‘Shaping Communities Together’ which is more than just a brand — it’s a philosophy for life. McGill has helped me shape and change my communities for the better for over two decades and I want to help other communities accomplish their goals for a better tomorrow.”

Today, James lives in Bessemer City with the love of his life, Michelle Drum Inman. Together, they have five children, three grandsons under the age of three, a one-year-old granddaughter, and another granddaughter set to arrive in March. James is actively involved in his community where he is a Rotary Club member and member of the Gaston Business Association. Recently inducted into the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, he gives back to the local government profession by serving as an adjunct faculty member at Appalachian State University where he earned a Master of Public Administration and being actively involved in ICMA, North Carolina City and County Management Association, and North Carolina League of Municipalities.

We look forward to seeing how James and McGill will shape communities together in the years to come. James has an exceptional track record of proven results for sound asset management, innovative economic and community development strategies, and funding techniques to get projects off the ground. In his new role, James will have the opportunity to meet with local government clients throughout McGill’s service area to exchange ideas and work together on new projects.

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