Farmer, Ruppe apply for Rockwood position

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By Cindy Simpson

Two former county chiefs — Mike Farmer of Roane County and Becky Ruppe of Morgan County — have applied for the Rockwood city administrator position.
Farmer served the term prior to current officeholder Ron Woody.
Rockwood City Council will be interviewing them and Jack Miller, a former city manager in Crossville
at a workshop Monday, Oct. 17, at 3:30 p.m.
“Any community is fortunate to have two former county executives or county mayors fill out an application to serve as a municipal administrator. I think it is a real plus for the city of Rockwood to be in the shape that type of person would want to come in,” Mayor James Watts said.
Watts said officials had originally discussed narrowing the continually growing list of applicants down to five more to interview.
However, the committee members, which consisted of Council Members Jane Long, Bill Thompson and Jason Jolly, decided those three were a great addition to the five already interviewed.
“We felt like that we would have plenty to talk to the three about,” Watts said.
Watts said that of the 12 more applicants received, about 80 percent had served in a position similar to a city manager.
“We feel really lucky to have such good applicants,” Watts said.
The council interviewed five candidates last Monday.
Those include Michael Phillips, a former city manager from Georgia; Beth Howard, a Rockwood native with a master’s degree in accounting who currently works with private investors and advises 11 real estate companies; Wyatt Wilson, son of former high school principal LeRoy Wilson and software supervisor for Roane County Schools: and Sandra Pierce, a Rockwood High School math teacher with background in industrial engineering who is married to Rockwood Public Works Director Tom Pierce.