Buncombe County officials say interim manager Wood stood out among candidates

Buncombe County on Tuesday officially appointed George Wood interim county manager, making him the third county manager in just more than a year. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Buncombe County on Tuesday officially appointed George Wood interim county manager, making him the third county manager in just more than a year.

"I'm happy to be here, and I look forward to working with everyone," Wood said.

"The county commission has had a very focused effort over the last week and a half to look at options for who we could bring in," Buncombe County Commission chairman Brownie Newman said.

Commissioners had to act fast after former county manager Mandy Stone announced her retirement June 8.

"We were fortunate to have a number of really good people with a lot of experience in local government who were available to step in on pretty short notice," Newman said.

Newman said Wood stood out.

"He spent over 30 years of his professional life working in senior management for local government," Newman said.

Newman said Wood's two most recent roles were as county manager of Lincoln and Wayne counties in North Carolina.

According to Newman, Wood's references played a huge part in the decision to hire him.

"We talked to several different kinds of people -- some conservatives, some more liberal -- and everybody just had tremendous respect for him," Newman said.

Newman said Wood understands the county is going through a tough time as it deals with former county manager Wanda Greene's indictment accusing her of misusing taxpayer money.

"It's an important time to rebuild trust with the community," Newman said.

"What I'm going to concentrate on is being interim manager and making sure the day-to-day activities are done correctly and that we give the board good policy recommendations for things going forward," said Wood, who begins work Wednesday.

He will be paid $83 an hour, and his compensation will not exceed $83,000 from now until February 2019.

Commissioners will now focus on hiring a permanent county manager.

Wood will not be a candidate for the permanent manager position.

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