At Monday night's Board of Aldermen meeting, Interim Town Manager Summer Wooodard was unanimously chosen by the board to continue leading the town in its dayto- day operations as Town Manager.
Proving that hard work pays off, Woodard will take over the role that Warren Cabe left vacant back in April of this year. She had temporarily stepped into the role until the board was able to select a new manager.
“I could never express the amount of gratitude I have towards the Town Board for allowing me the opportunity to serve as the Town of Franklin Manager,” said Woodard. “It is truly an honor to serve my hometown. My roots are here. The issues that our town and the citizens of Franklin face affect us all. I want the citizens to know that they have someone to come to and express their concerns because I, too, have a vested interest in our hometown.”
Woodard graduated from Franklin High School in 2004 before attending Western Carolina University and double majoring to receive her Bachelor of Arts degrees in political science and history in 2008. She immediately began work on her Masters degree of Public Administration and completed her course load in 2010. It was during this time that she completed a 300 hour internship with the Town of Franklin.
Following her graduation from the MPA program, she took a parttime job with the town in customer service. Shortly thereafter she became the full-time assistant to the town manager. As assistant she worked alongside managers Sam Greenwood and Warren Cabe – both of whom she credits much of her success.
“It was an honor and privilege to work under two great leaders in our community,” said Woodard. “I have the upmost respect for both individuals. Mr. Greenwood and Mr. Cabe guided me through my career path with the Town of Franklin. They each had a different approach to management and I am grateful that I was afforded the opportunity to work under both of them. They both played a vital role in shaping the type of leader I hope to be for the Town of Franklin.”
According to town attorney John Henning Jr., the contract between Woodard and the Town of Franklin is identical to the one that was offered to Cabe.
That contract was for 180 days of service and provided an annual salary of $85,000 without overtime pay. The new town manager will also accrue vacation days at a rate of 30 days per year, and any days over the maximum allowed time will be transferred to her sick leave account. She will also be entitled to attend any educational activities without loss of pay and at the expense of the town.
The board will allow Woodard a $500 per month travel reimbursement and also a mileage allowance if she needs to travel outside of Macon County. A cell phone will be provided or the town will be responsible for her bill.
By entering the agreement, she will be tasked with serving the Board of Aldermen while complying with the United States Constitution, the North Carolina Constitution, the N.C. General Statutes and all regulations, policies, and ordinances of the town.
“Summer was the logical choice,” said Mayor Bob Scott. “This is a win-win for us and the Town of Franklin. She has worked with every department. She started here as an intern and has worked herself up to the role of town manager. She works well with the public and she works well with other employees of the town.”
Simons becomes Franklin Town Clerk The board also named Franklin native Chad Simons as the Franklin Town Clerk at Monday's meeting. Janet Anderson who formerly served as clerk will now be the town treasurer.
Simons is a 2005 FHS graduate and also received BA degrees in Political Science and History from WCU in 2009 when he graduated with honors. Upon completion of his undergraduate studies he attended Appalachian State University where he completed his MPA. He was member of the Phi Alpha Theta National History Society. He has also completed internships with the Town of Franklin and the Town of Seven Devils.
After college, he worked as a journalist for The Macon County News and The Smoky Mountain Times in Bryson City before working in customer service for the Town of Franklin. Long dedicated to public service, he also serves as a medic in the U.S. National Guard.
As clerk, Simons will be responsible for keeping records and a procedural expert. According to Woodard, he will also serve a dual role as Human Resource Officer.