Wilson deputy city manager retiring after 40 years

Posted December 31, 2009 2:51 p.m. EST

— Wilson Deputy City Manager Charles Pittman III retired Thursday after 40 years of service to the city.

“Through the span of his career, Charles has likely contributed more than any other employee in the history of our organization,” City Manager Grant Goings said in a statement. “Wilson is clearly a better community because of Charles Pittman.”

Wilson Police Chief Harry Tyson will be the new deputy city manager, effective Jan. 1, 2010.

City leaders say Pittman is perhaps best known for his tireless efforts to expand Buckhorn Lake in 1999.

"Because of his leadership and diligence, Wilson enjoys an abundant supply of water today," Wilson spokesman Brian Bowman wrote in a press release.

Pittman is also known for his leadership during one of Wilson's most intense natural disasters – the flooding after Hurricane Floyd. About 400 homes were destroyed during and after the storm. He coordinated the immediate response and the long-term cleanup, according to city officials.

Pittman also coordinated the Transportation Improvement Program for the city, which has helped accommodate travel for the community.

Pittman organized the Downtown Streetscape Rehabilitation in which utility lines were buried, new streets and sidewalks were built and new streetlights erected.

"The Streetscape project is part of the reason new restaurants and shops have opened downtown in recent months," Bowman wrote.

Pittman worked with Parks and Recreation to help establish the Burt Gillette Athletic Complex that houses Wilson's new soccer fields, new baseball fields and the new BB&T All Children's Playground.

He also led the efforts to make significant upgrades to Wilson's Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Pittman established the Stormwater division to address drainage issues in town, which has made "significant improvements to ditches and streams in the area," Bowman wrote.

He worked with Wilson Energy to upgrade the utility network. Pittman's efforts have led to more reliable electrical service, according to city officials.

Pittman worked with the fire department to re-align city fire stations and build new facilities. The department is nationally accredited. He oversaw the police department, which was one of the first in the state to be nationally accredited.

He worked with Water Resources to establish Wilson's Water Re-Use Program. The program uses treated wastewater for non-drinking purposes such as irrigation. The re-use program helps protect the Neuse River basin, one of the most tightly regulated areas in the nation.

Pittman purchased the city's first computer in 1971 – a data processor that took up a good portion of the room in which it was housed. He also played an important role on the team that created Greenlight in 2006, Wilson's fiber optic broadband network.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed working for the City of Wilson and serving the citizens of Wilson,” Pittman said in a statement. “I could look the world over and could never have found a more rewarding career. I have had the chance to work with some of the best people you could imagine.”

Pittman is married to Carol Smith Pittman. The couple has two children and four grandchildren.