Capps takes charge in Murfreesboro

Published 9:40 am Thursday, June 17, 2010

MURFREESBORO — For Lee Hood Capps, ever since he’s set foot in town it’s been like jumping from the pan into the fire.

Capps signed on as Murfreesboro’s town administrator on Monday and by Tuesday afternoon he had already attended a Flag Day ceremony, met with employees, attended a Murfreesboro Chamber of Commerce meeting and met with North Carolina Department of Commerce officials about the Small Town Main Street program. And the list of items on his itinerary keeps growing.

“It’s been a whirlwind,” he said on Tuesday.

Capps said he intended to begin his new position in July, but with the town’s budget season in full swing and other impending topics in the town it was preferable for him to begin work earlier than expected.

Capps comes to Murfreesboro from Mt. Gilead where he served as town manager. He has also been employed with the town of Kilmarnock in Virginia and has been involved in Central Virginia Planning District and Shenandoah Valley Technology Council.

“I have a common and principal based interest in working in small town development and transformation,” he said.

The decision process was lengthy for both the Town Council and Capps, who said made sure to spend time with town individual staff members, especially department heads, to make sure there could be a working relationship.

Capps said council also did their homework by visiting his last place of employment, the town of Mt. Gilead.

A list of features he desired in a community helped lead him to Murfreesboro.

“I rather be in a town where they have a historic district, a college or university, is close to a bay, a sound or a river and is committed to a diverse economy with a traditional downtown established,” he said.

Capps was raised in eastern North Carolina, growing up in Kinston and was involved in 4-H for several years. He said his mother’s family is from North Carolina, in fact he comes from five generations of pharmacists, while his father’s family “wandered in as merchants” in Pungo, Va.

Capps said he realizes the challenges small towns often face.

“I welcome connecting the dots in rural areas so they can become vibrant communities,” he said.

He noted the partnerships already established between several groups and organizations in town, an aspect he said could help foster new business.

Capps, who has two sons, said he’s currently staying in town and does plan to make the permanent move to Murfreesboro. He added has found a particular interest in renovated and restored historic homes.

Capps succeeds Cathy Davison who resigned to take a position in Steubenville, Ohio and Hugh Montgomery, who served as interim town administrator.