After three tries and months of searching, the City Council on Tuesday named a new community development director.
Bryan Wood, who currently works as zoning administrator for the city of Greenville, South Carolina, will take over the job that has been vacant for more than a year. Mike Beecham, who previously held the position, left to take a job with a city in north Georgia.
Mayor Jimmy Faircloth said Wood’s salary will be $88,500. He starts Dec. 20.
Reached by phone after the meeting, Wood said he was interested in the job because he wanted a new challenge. He is originally from Spartanburg, S.C., and said he has worked in city government for 30 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in architectural design and a master’s in city planning from Clemson University.
“I think Perry is a wonderful little town and has got some exciting opportunities ahead of it,” he said. “It looked like a great opportunity for me to do something a little bit different.”
After the meeting, Faircloth said the city initially advertised the job as both community planner and assistant city manager. After the applicants for that position did not meet the city’s expectations, Faircloth said it was advertised again as only the job of community development director.
Again, he said, the few people who applied did not meet the requirements. On the third try the council decided to hire a company that searches for job candidates. That produced a much better group of applicants, Faircloth said, including Wood.
Faircloth said Wood was selected based on his experience in urban planning and code enforcement. A key part of the job is reviewing all applications for residential and commercial building permits to make sure those structures meet city code and conform to the surrounding area.