Todd Smith, Johnson City’s business management analyst, has been named Greeneville’s first town administrator — an unknown and unfilled position dating back to 1783.
Smith, 36, will begin Monday and be paid an annual salary of $81,000.
“I’d heard they were changing their charter and form of government, and that really intrigued me,” Smith said. “It’s a real challenge. It’s already a strong city and has a great downtown. But I think this the next step.”
Greeneville’s mayor and four-member board of aldermen created the new position hoping to restructure its administration to include a person with business savvy to run its day-to-day operations.
Mayor W.T. Daniels said he was looking forward to “a new day.”
“Going through the process, we had about 100 resumes,” Daniels said. “We narrowed it down to three, but Todd was our number one choice. We’ve always worked as a weak mayor system with a recorder and a board of alderman. This is a new position. I like the fact that his experience is in economic development. The board members felt like we needed to concentrate on job creation. We also wanted someone who was in tune with accounting.”
Since 2005, Smith has overseen economic development projects for the city of Johnson City, including retail recruitment, developing Johnson City’s Med Tech Corridor, developing Millennium Park, and entrepreneurial development.
He also has been intimately involved with the annual Johnson City/Jonesborough/Washington County Tennessee Economic Summit. The summit provides a strategic process for Johnson City, Jonesborough and Washington County to set and implement top economic development priorities on an ongoing basis. His job has been to improve and develop local business, infrastructure, the workforce, health and medicine, as well as tourism in the area.
In 1997, Smith earned a bachelor of arts degree in history from Milligan College and in 2004 he obtained a master of public administration degree at East Tennessee State University. Within a year of graduating from ETSU, City Manager Pete Peterson hired him to perform contract negotiations on land deals and to ensure design processes were seen to the end.
“I had been located at the Millennium Centre,” Smith said of his office location before moving to the ETSU Innovation Lab. “In addition, Pete hired me to recruit retail and entrepreneurial opportunities.”
When asked what he felt he had accomplished here in Johnson City, Smith said the following: “Without a doubt, the biggest achievement of my career is heading up the creation of the Washington County Economic Development Council. It’s the umbrella organization of the Economic Development Board, Johnson City Development Authority and Public Building Authority.”
Greeneville, Tennessee’s second oldest town, has a population of just over 15,000. It was founded in 1783 and served as the capital of the Lost State of Franklin, 1785-88. The town was Tennessee’s 18th Century capital during the short-lived State of Franklin history of the Tennessee region.
Two major regional companies are headquartered in Greeneville. Greenbank has offices and branch locations throughout Middle and East Tennessee. Landair Corporation is located on the western edge of the city.