The town of Garner has hired Interim Finance Director Pam Wortham to take on the role permanently, Town Manager Rodney Dickerson said Thursday.
Wortham will make $110,000 per year in her new position, making her the third highest paid department head for the town of Garner, not including Dickerson.
Wortham has served in her capacity as interim finance director since Dec. 2015, after Emily Lucas left the town to be the deputy finance director for Wake County. Lucas’ departure left a big void in the town. She was lauded as one of the best in the region by her former bosses, and Wake County recognized her for it.
But Wortham stepped into the finance director’s role and helped guide the town through the 2016-17 budget, and in the midst of restructuring of the finance department after a few longtime employees there decided to retire.
“She has performed admirably and has guided the Finance Department through a lot of transition over the last five months,” Dickerson told department heads in an email Thursday. “She is also an integral part of the budget team.”
Dickerson said Wortham was previously retired and planned for her stint in Garner to be temporary. She was brought in as a temporary employee in September. However, she was so pleased with organization and the employees she wanted to take on the role full-time, Dickerson said.
Wortham, a Garner resident, retired from the state in 2010. She was an assistant auditor in the State Auditor’s Office, accounting manager with the N.C. Department of Agriculture, and CFO/deputy treasurer at the N.C. Department of the State Treasurer.
“Since her retirement, she has been providing assistance to local governments in developing training materials, assisting with fiscal year close outs, and working with newly-appointed finance directors,” Dickerson said.
Wortham said she liked the idea of being able to work for Dickerson when he was hired in March.
“I’m thrilled to be working for the Town of Garner,” Wortham said. “I thoroughly enjoyed working with the employees and being here.”
She said she has no timetable on how long she will stay.
The finance director was one of three department head positions that needed to be filled after Town Clerk Judy Bass retired in November, Lucas left in December and former Town Manager Hardin Watkins took another position in January.
Since then, all three positions have been filled and all were done internally.
With Dickerson’s appointment, the town will next have to hire an assistant manager.