Public Works Department provides many important maintenance and improvement services for the City

The City of Cookeville is gaining a new Director of the Public Works Department. Blake Mayo is stepping down after nearly two years as the department’s director.

Beginning April 15, Mary Beth Elrod, a civil engineer, and stormwater manager with Public Works, will take on the role.

James Mills, Cookeville’s City Manager, reflected positively on Mayo’s time with the city.

“I appreciate the work Mr. Mayo has done for Cookeville for the last six years, particularly his 22 months of service as Director of the Public Works Department,” says Mills. “We wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.”

He continued.

“The Public Works Director position is one of the most demanding jobs within the City,” said Mills. “We are very fortunate to have someone already working in the department with the qualities and capabilities needed in a new director. I have the utmost confidence that Mary Beth Elrod is up to the task.”

Elrod has been with Public Works since May 2022. Her responsibilities included the design and review of expansion and improvement projects for our growing city. Elrod has proven herself to be a capable engineer and project manager through more than 13 years of professional experience.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in civil and environmental engineering from Tennessee Technological University. The Public Works Department provides many important maintenance and improvement services for the City. Common tasks include street construction and repairs, right of way maintenance, traffic signalization, sidewalk construction, stormwater improvements, trash collection and brush disposal. 

The list of responsibilities is long, but Elrod is well versed in the diverse expectations placed on the department. In her own words, Elrod’s daily tasks over the last two years regularly involved working “with all crews within Public Works to ensure every project and citizen concern was addressed.”

In her new role as Director of Public Works, Elrod is eager “to continue to develop and grow each division of the Public Works Department.” 

For more information about the Public Works Department or other updates within the city, visit

Photo courtesy of the City of Cookeville.

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