Meridian Star

Local News

February 5, 2014

Council approves mayor's pick for CAO

MERIDIAN —     Without debate, Meridian City Council members unanimously confirmed Mike McGrevey as the city's new chief administrative officer on Tuesday.

    Mayor Percy Bland presented him for confirmation following a search that became necessary when Bland withdrew his previous CAO candidate, Curt Goldacker, who served from July until November as acting CAO.

    Dr. George Thomas, Ward 1 councilman and council president, said the difference this time in confirming the appointee was improved communications between the mayor and the council.

    "I think it's the preparation this time. Council members knew about him," Thomas said. "They've had an opportunity to call him and talk to him. I think that's a big difference."

    McGrevey served in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years, serving in several financial management roles. He also served as chief financial officer at Mississippi State University, was president of the Montgomery Institute, and was the executive director of Kemper County Economic Development Authority.

     "He brings a financial background that will help in working with the budget. He's very organized. He had a career in the Air Force where he dealt with the administration," Thomas said. "While he was at Mississippi State University he worked directly with the president of the university so his organizational skills, his financial background, his education, he brings a lot of good experience and knowledge to the city."

    McGrevey is currently senior vice president for client services for Generation Ready, a company specializing in professional development for educators and school improvement services. He said he will  start his new job as CAO in two weeks, but in the meantime, he will have phone calls and meetings with city departments.

    "It's my job to work the agenda of the mayor and the city council. That's what I'm really looking forward to because it's about moving Meridian forward and working closely with the staff and all the professionals there to provide effective and efficient services to the great citizens of Meridian," McGrevey said.

    McGrevey said there is a certain excitement around having three new council members and a new mayor.

    "I've met with each of them individually. There is no doubt that they want to do good. They want to move this city forward," He said. "There is a lot of passion, a lot of excitement and I feel it here that things are really moving forward. It's built upon a lot of great work that folks have done in the past and we're just going to take that a lot further."

    Also on Tuesday, the city went ahead with the sale of $1.2 million in bonds which had been held up with legal procedures. City attorney Michael Goggans said the city had crossed the legal hurdle but in the time that took, the bank that had originally won the bid had withdrawn its bid.

    Goggans said the city was free to go ahead with the sale of the bonds, but banks would have to submit new bids.

    The bond issue will provide $350,000 for a generator at North Meridian freshwater plant, $600,000 for filter repair at B Street freshwater plant, and $250,000 to reroute wastewater from Marion to the east plant.

    In other action, the council unanimously approved agreements with the county to jointly apply for a $2 million Community Development Block Grant for Project Bronco, an undisclosed industrial development project through which a company has pledged to invest $17 million and to provide 85 new jobs in Lauderdale County. Under the agreement, the city and county would each pay $100,000, but that can be through in-kind services.

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