Wayne County Commissioners unanimously selected George Wood as the county’s next manager late Tuesday afternoon.
Wood has been serving as Interim Manager since mid-February and guided the County through the budget process, as well as through several major projects.
Commissioners Bill Pate, Ray Mayo and Ed Cromartie served on the selection committee, both for the interim county manager and the permanent county manager positions.
“We were going through and evaluating resumes and there were a number of good candidates and we ranked them. There came a clear choice and because of that we did not see that it warranted spending a lot of dollars – taxpayer dollars – to bring the people in from all over the country to interview,” Pate said.
He then made the motion to appoint George A. Wood as Wayne County Manager effective June 1, 2014. As manager, Mr. Wood will receive $175,000 per year salary as well as all fringe benefits extended to other county employees. He will also receive four weeks of vacation per year.
The manager and his wife shall be entitled to medical insurance coverage at no cost to him, will receive $750 per month in travel allowance and the county will pay moving expenses.
The initial agreement is for 18 months (through November 30, 2015), thereafter it will automatically renew for an additional term of one year unless the Board of Commissioners on or before June 1, has given the Manager notice of its intent not to renew the agreement for another year.
He will be entitled to severance pay equal to at least six months’ salary. However, if the manager is terminated for cause as set out by the Wayne County Personnel Policy, the County will not have to pay the severance benefits.
The Manager may give the Commissioners 45 days’ notice of his intent to terminate this agreement. If he terminates the agreement, there will be no payment of six months benefits.
Commissioner Ray Mayo said he and his fellow committee members knew there was something special about George A. Wood from the beginning.
“There were good applicants, but none came up to the standard of George Wood,” Mayo said. “He comes out on top.”
Commissioner John Bell said it only took him a week and a half to approach Wood after he became Interim Manager and ask him if he might be interested in a full time job with the county.
“I’m glad he came out of retirement,” Bell said.
County Manager Wood said that if “anyone would have told me last June that I’d be a full-time county manager again, I would have said they were crazy.”
But, he said, he appreciated the confidence the board had shown in him and thought Wayne County was a great community.
The Honorable Judge Arnold O. Jones II administered the oath of office to Mr. Wood in the County Commissioner Meeting Room on the fourth floor of the Courthouse.