Rick Wise, the newest member of the Smyrna Town Council, is used to the glare of public service, first as a 30-year educator with Rutherford County Schools, and later, as chairman of the Rutherford County Board of Education.
The 69-year-old first moved to Smyrna in 1963 while he was serving in the U.S. Air Force as a mechanic for large flying war machines.
Wise, who has been married 30 years to Smyrna native Amy Davenport Wise, finished his career in education as principle of Stewart Creek Elementary School, Red Hawk Parkway.
Wise said he is also accustomed to working with public trust and finances.
“I’m accustomed to working with budgets, including dealing with a $300 million budget annually with the school board,” said Wise, who served on the Board of Education from 2002 to 2010.
He was appointed to the post by the Smyrna Town Council to fill the position left vacated by Marc Adkins, who is now the newly appointed vice mayor.
Reed was sworn in Tuesday as mayor of Smyrna, the first woman to ever serve in that capacity.
“I’m in a learning and listening curve, being appointed to fill an expired term on the Town Council,” Wise said. “I’m extremely optimistic about our city.”
Smyrna, which has grown from a few thousand people, now boasts more than 40,000 residents.
Wise credits Nissan and StoneCrest Medical Center as two of the largest progressive employment triggers in the past 40 years.
“I believe when I moved here, there were less than 3,000 residents in Smyrna,” Wise said. “With the automotive industry and its spinoff supply companies, and with having a major new hospital here, with those jobs, I see a bright future for our children and grandchildren.”
Wise said he also looks forward to working with officials from Motlow State Community College, as well as MTSU, to encourage more growth in the area.
“With excellent schools, plus having Motlow here in Smyrna, working with Middle Tennessee State University, and having the Smyrna Airport attracting more jobs, we have a city with resources that will allow our youth to stay here for careers, if that’s their desire,” he added.
Wise also expressed interested in further increasing tourism dollars for Smyrna and Rutherford County, starting with the possibility that the Commemorative Air Force could move its antique war bird museum out of Midland, Tex., to the Smyrna Airport, located at Dougwarpoole Road.
“It’s the citizens I’m listening to,” he said, noting he plans on running for the seat during the regular election, slated for November 2014.