New AC finance director named in 4-3 vote – Knoxville News Sentinel

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Natalie Erb

By Bob Fowler of the Knoxville News Sentinel

CLINTON — In its first major decision since it was created, the Anderson County Finance Committee in a 4-3 vote appointed a certified public accountant as county budget director, edging out the interim director.

Natalie Erb, a Norris resident who currently works as finance director for the United Way of Anderson County, will begin her new duties May 18 and will be paid $79,338.

The finance committee was set up after the County Commission voted 13-2 in January to switch its financial management method — going from a 1957 law that gave the county mayor major fiscal powers — to the County Financial Management System of 1981.

In the change, the seven-member finance committee takes over many of the mayor’s financial oversight duties.

Mayor Terry Frank strongly opposed the change, saying the prior system was effective and efficient. After she vetoed the commission vote to change financial management methods, commissioners voted 16-0 to override.

The previous budget director, Chris Phillips, and Pamela Cotham, the county’s former purchasing agent, cited the change as a major factor in their decisions to resign and take other jobs.

Voting for Erb in last week’s meeting were County Commissioners Phil Warfield, Steve Mead and committee chairman Myron Iwanski, along with Road Superintendent Gary Long. Voting for Connie Aytes, the county’s interim budget director, were Mayor Frank, Anderson County Schools Director Larry Foster and Commissioner Tim Isbel. Aytes, formerly the assistant budget director, had been appointed by Frank to the interim role.

Aytes on Monday said she intends to remain with the county as deputy finance director, a new post created in the transition, which becomes official July 1. Her pay will be $65,000.

“It was a tough choice,” Iwanski said of the committee’s vote on finance director. “We had some very good candidates.” He said Erb will at first be involved in drafting a plan for the transition to the new system.

Erb said she hasn’t worked for a government before. “I’m excited to work with the county and to serve the county,” she said.

The committee’s next major decision is to name a new purchasing agent. The county received 61 applications, Anderson County Human Resources Director Russell Bearden said. Iwanski said plans are to interview seven finalists early in May.

New AC finance director named in 4-3 vote – Knoxville News Sentinel}