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City hires new assistant manager


By Seth Thomas Gulledge
The Daily Reflector

Friday, September 22, 2017

A Rocky Mount administrator who also worked for Greenville has been hired to fill the assistant city manager post vacated by the retiring Merrill Flood, the city announced on Friday.

Ken Graves currently serves as the director of planning and development for Rocky Mount. He was hired by City Manager Ann Wall. His starting salary will be set at $124,405. He will start on Oct. 23. Greenville has two assistant city manager position, Graves will work alongside assistant city manager Micheal Cowin.

Brock Letchworth, public information officer for the city said the city has not yet finalized which departments Cowin and Graves will be overseeing. Letchworth said the city manager is still working with both of them on that, but Graves be overseeing the Community Development department.

"I am both humbled and excited to return to the City of Greenville for this new opportunity," Graves said in the release. "My municipal career started with the city 14 years ago. Over the years, I have watched Greenville flourish into a metropolitan in its own right. I am looking forward to working with the City Council to explore additional opportunities for growth and development."

Graves began his career in Greenville. He was a planner from March 2000 until May 2003. During his career in Rocky Mount, he oversaw the Planning and Development department’s $1.5 million budget, and managed its three divisions: Inspections, Community Development and Planning.

Highlights from Graves’ career include designing and implementing development incentive strategies for the downtown area, as well as drafting a Municipal Service District Ordinance for the downtown quadrant. He also established design guidelines for new developments along major corridors of the city and served as committee chairman for the city in drafting and implementing a comprehensive housing study.

Graves graduated from the University of Toledo with a master of arts in geography and planning with a concentration in urban planning. He also holds a bachelor of science in geography from North Carolina Central University. He is a member of the American Planning Association (APA) and the North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association (NCAPA).

"I am excited that Ken will be returning to the City of Greenville," Wall said in the release. "I have known Ken for a long time. He is a hard worker who brings a wealth of experience in local government that will serve our city well."

Flood retired on July 31 after decades with the city. Flood graduated with a bachelor’s degree in urban and regional planning from East Carolina University. He worked as a planner for the Town of Garner for about a year before he was hired by Greenville in 1988. He was promoted to deputy director of Community Development in 1997 before moving up as the director in 2004. In September 2014, Flood was promoted to assistant city manager.

Contact Seth Gulledge at sgulledge@reflector.com and 329-9579