George Wood, who previously served as the county manager for Wayne and Lincoln counties, appears to be Buncombe County’s pick for interim county manager.
The county announced June 11 that County Manager Mandy Stone, who took over soon after Wanda Greene’s retirement on July 1, 2017, would retire at the beginning of July. Newman said Stone is taking time off between now and her effective retirement.
Greene has been hit with charges that she improperly used county credit cards to make thousands of dollars of personal purchases. A new indictment on June 5 also charges her with misappropriating $2.3 million in county money to purchase whole-life insurance policies for herself, her son and eight other county employees.
During his 35 years in local government, Wood has served as the manager for municipalities in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia.
He served as county manager for Lincoln County for about five years, beginning in March 2008 and leaving in June 2013. Wayne County hired him in February 2014 to be its interim manager before ultimately appointing him permanent manager in June 2014. He left Wayne County in December 2017.
In his time with Wayne County, Wood said he facilitated the construction of two new middle schools powered by solar energy, $12.5 million in renovations for five other schools in the system, and reviewed and adjusted salaries in response to losses among deputies, EMS and 911 personnel who were leaving for other jurisdictions.
Board Chair Brownie Newman said in an email to reporters that the county has received assistance from the N.C. Association of County Commissioners over the past week and a half in the search for an interim manager.
The county said Wood would become manager immediately upon appointment and would stay on until Feb. 28, 2019, or until the board selects a new permanent manager. He will not be a candidate for the permanent manager position.
The board will vote on Wood’s appointment during its meeting on Tuesday, June 19 at 5 p.m. in the third floor conference room at 200 College St. in downtown Asheville.
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