"Mr. McCraney just stood out," said Lauderdale County board president Wayman Newell.
McCraney has worked for the state auditor's office, served as the administrator for Rankin County and most recently worked for the North Mississippi Planning and Development District in Winona. But for McCraney this is a return home.
"I'm home. This is home," said McCraney. "Anywhere I've lived, I've always told them 'I'm from Meridian. Lauderdale County'."
McCraney was actually offered the job back in 2008, but declined it because he wanted his son to graduate in Kosciusko with his friends.
Then a year ago when his house was destroyed in a fire, he moved back to Lauderdale County where he also owned a house.
"I told them, look I turned it down last time and my house burned down," said McCraney. "I'm afraid not to turn it down again."
But with the job, McCraney is taking on a dwindling budget that supervisors are working to get a handle on.
"The difficult part of it is you are coming into a situation where there is a budget crisis, so we will have to jump on it real quick and find different sources of revenues and look at everyone's expense budget firstly and survive in difficult economic times," McCraney said.
One of the things McCraney says he brings to the table is perspective. After being out of the area as he has, McCraney says you better realize what makes this area great.
"There is so much going for Lauderdale County, so much positive things," McCraney said.
While working with the North Mississippi Planning and Development District
McCraney assisted seven counties with special projects.