CROSSVILLE – After 10 months and two interim city managers, the Crossville city council finally closed out its search for a new municipal leader.
Greg Wood, of Baker, Florida, accepted the permanent city manager position this week. He’s expected to officially start March 6.
The council received some 40 applications in its nationwide search and narrowed that list down to six finalists in recent weeks. During the interview process, three dropped out of the running.
Council initially made the offer to Wood in a special called meeting Feb. 7 and approved the draft of an employment contract during a regular council meeting on Tuesday. The motion to approve the contract was unanimous. Councilman J. H. Graham was absent as he continues to recover from recent surgery.
In addition to a two-year contract with a salary of $80,211, which includes a possible 10 percent raise in six months, the agreement includes a six-month severance deal if Wood is not fired for cause. Wood will also receive up to a $2,500 moving allowance as well as health, disability and life insurance, a vehicle to drive and a $50 a month cell phone allowance.
When asked about his impressions of Crossville, Wood said, “Crossville was a great place to live.” During the interview, Wood described himself as “genuine, a simple man, compassionate, logical, not taking himself too seriously and a team player.”
Wood holds a masters of public administration from the University of West Florida. He previously served as the county administrator of Harris County, Georgia, from 2013-2016; as county manager for Jasper County, Georgia, from 2010-2012; and as county administrator of Holmes County, Florida, from 2007-2009. He has similar experience dating back to 1984.
Wood received one of the highest ratings from consultants with UT Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS) who ranked the initial list of candidates.
The search for a city manager got underway in August with an initial deadline for applications in September. That deadline was extended twice because of the November election. New council members were seated in December. Dennis Sparks, of Hopewell, Virginia; and Steve Foote, of Dunwoody, Georgia; were also among the finalists. Each candidate was given a $500 stipend for travel expenses for in-person interviews.
Wood succeeds David Rutherford, who was dismissed in April; Steve Hill, who was appointed interim city manager but dismissed in January; and Lee Lawson, the city’s IT administrator, who is now serving in the interim.