The beleaguered official instead was placed on six months probation in a 5-1 vote by the city council following by closed-door executive session to discuss personnel.
Councilman John Beresford opposed the move to place Wood, 61, on a six-month probation period in the job he has held since 2009 and for which he is paid $150,000 annually.
The council also set a deadline of Oct. 15 to provide written evaluations of Wood’s performance.
The decision came on the heels of Canton Police Officer Daniel Henley resigning Wednesday morning after a video surfaced of him pulling over Scott after a city council meeting in March.
After reconvening back into the special called meeting, the council began to discuss Wood’s performance and the recent event that have placed the city in the spotlight.
Beresford said he requested the council to schedule a called meeting to go into executive session to discuss a personnel manner.
The councilman said he wanted to discuss “how Canton has become a laughingstock” with a “do-nothing” council and added he was concerned about “how our city is being run.”
Beresford said a probationary period only “belabors the outcome of what should take place.”
Beresford said in the past years, Wood has not led in areas such as the city’s water billing crisis and gathering information on the Hickory Log Creek Reservoir’s costs.
“I have a major concern about the lack of management with the city,” he said.
The council peppered Wood with questions about the traffic stop and a conversation he had with Cherokee County Sheriff Roger Garrison that Canton Interim Police Chief Todd Vande Zande overheard last Friday after Wood inadvertently dialed the acting police chief’s number on his cellphone.
Vande Zande said he answered the phone, but Wood did not respond.
He listened to the conversation between Wood and Garrison for about 20 minutes and gathered the conversation “extended beyond whether the police department could work with the sheriff’s office.”
The interim chief, who said he was “pretty upset,” said he felt like he wasn’t getting a fair chance in the process.
Councilman Glen Cummins asked Wood if he thought he made any poor judgment calls with regards to the traffic stop and with the conversation he had with Garrison.
Wood reiterated that he was “wrong for speeding,” but added he identified himself in order to show officer Henley he “posed no threat” to him.
He also said he did not invite the officer to give him preferential treatment.
The city manager added he sought out the opinion of Garrison, who he said noted there was nothing “unusual” about the officer’s or his actions in the video.
Wood also said the accidental dialing of Vande Zande was a “simple mistake, not a conspiracy.”
He said the same thing happened to him Thursday morning when a council member dialed his cellphone number by accident.
Wood also reiterated he would have had the same conversations with other law enforcement chiefs involving other candidates for the police chief position.
He added he recently met with Marietta’s police chief to discuss two candidates who had applied for the Canton police chief position.
The controversy surrounding Wood stems from when he was pulled over by Henley on March 15 after leaving a city council meeting.
The latter half of the video of Henley pulling over Wood following a four-hour meeting at City Hall contains no audio, which has raised questions on whether the officer gave preferential treatment to Wood.
Wood has insisted “that I did not ask for any preferential treatment and hopefully did not receive any.”
“I was in the wrong,” he said. “Officer Henley was doing his job when he stopped me. I have never denied to him or to anyone else that I was at fault.”
Beresford said he was “absolutely” disappointed in the outcome.
The council member said the city of Canton has a “non-manager” in the city manager’s position and accused Wood of consistently passing the buck to his employees when issues arise.
Beresford said Wood, who he said is “classic” at dodging bullets, “didn’t take any responsibility” with the city’s water billing crisis and refused to follow up on an employee’s discovery that the Blackboard Connect emergency notification system was filled with flaws.
“It was a fact that we have a city manger that has not fulfilled his obligation for the city,” he said, adding he did not have a personal vendetta against Wood.
Beresford added he is willing to move on and sustain a working relationship with Wood.
Council members said they were ready to move on.
Councilman Bill Bryan said some members of the council in the past have “made it very clear” they had intentions to oust Wood from his position.
He added the council needs to “agree that we are starting with a clean slate today.”
Cummins agreed, adding the council “should be looking forward.”
Councilman Hooky Huffman also said there are “some loose lips amongst us,” which he said was making things worse.
He also pointed to the media coverage as exacerbating the problem.
“We’d still have that officer if it weren’t for the press,” he added.
Mayor Gene Hobgood said he is ready to “respect and abide by that decision” made by the city council.
When asked what he thought of the council’s decision, the mayor did note “there were some mistakes made that shouldn’t have been made,” but added he accepts the outcome.
Hobgood said he hopes the city can move past the recent issues and begin restoring some of the confidence the public has in the city and avoid issues that raises suspicions or diminishes public confidence.
After the decision, Wood said he hopes the council will be specific in what they expect from him in his job duties.
“I hope the city council will not be abstract or nebulous in their expectations,” he said, later adding “tonight is an opportunity to start over.”