Shelby Co. Commissioner could be Lakeland's new city manager - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Shelby Co. Commissioner could be Lakeland's new city manager

Mayor Wyatt Bunker wants to hire his friend and colleague Chris Thomas as city manager. The last city manager made $108,000 a year. Mayor Wyatt Bunker wants to hire his friend and colleague Chris Thomas as city manager. The last city manager made $108,000 a year.
Lakeland's vice mayor, Sherri Gallick, says Thomas will not be a shoe in and just one out of however many other candidates apply for the job. Lakeland's vice mayor, Sherri Gallick, says Thomas will not be a shoe in and just one out of however many other candidates apply for the job.

(WMC-TV) - Another Shelby County Commissioner could soon be on the City of Lakeland's payroll.

Mayor Wyatt Bunker wants to hire his friend and colleague Chris Thomas as city manager. The last city manager made $108,000 a year.

Thomas could possibly keep his seat on the county commission if he gets the job. The most conservative members of the Shelby County Commission may soon work together in Lakeland.

"He came to me within the last couple of weeks and asked me about it," said Thomas.

The news broke one day after Bunker and Lakeland's board of commissioners fired the city's veteran city manager.

"I'm looking for the full time appointment," said Thomas.

Thomas realizes some might think this is merely a political move.

"Had I not been probate court clerk and had a good reputation running a public office, and that type of situation, I would think that – but my reputation and the job I did there speaks for itself," said Thomas.

Lakeland's vice mayor, Sherri Gallick, says Thomas will not be a shoe in and just one out of however many other candidates apply for the job.

"When you're going to look at replacing somebody, you need to look at the complete package," said Gallick. "I would look to see what their experience is, their business acumen, their management experience, government experience"

Thomas believes city leaders will find his experience makes him more than qualified if given the chance.

"And I don't want anybody to do it just because Wyatt asked. I want them to look at my credentials," said Thomas.

Bunker said by phone that Thomas' trustworthiness was among the reasons he asked him to apply. It should be noted, Action News 5 reported last year that Chris Thomas filed for bankruptcy.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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