The interim tag has been removed from the job title of Pam Stone, due to her recent appointment as finance director for the city of Mount Airy.
Stone had served in that role on a fill-in basis since the Jan. 4 departure of longtime Finance Director John Overton, who took a similar position in Lexington.
“She has done an excellent job as interim finance manager,” City Manager Barbara Jones said of Stone’s appointment when it was announced during a Thursday afternoon meeting of the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners.
“I feel that Pam has the character, integrity and credentials to do this job,” Jones added.
Stone has been a municipal employee for 20 years. She began as a staff accountant in 1994 and was promoted to accounting supervisor and later accounting manager in the city finance department, working directly with Overton and serving as second in command of the department.
The director position comes with great trust and accountability, Jones pointed out, with a mission of providing fiscally responsible control of the city government’s finances.
Mount Airy’s finance department includes nine employees whose functions include managing municipal investments, payroll, accounting for the city water and sewer operation, grant compliance and more. The staff also assists with an annual audit of the city’s books by an outside entity, and Jones further mentioned that the finance director works closely with her in preparing Mount Airy’s annual budget.
Jones said Stone has been instrumental in the city being recognized nationally for 21 years straight for excellence in financial reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada. It is the highest form of recognition given in the government-finance field, and stresses transparency and full disclosure in the preparation of annual reports.
Stone is a Surry County native who graduated with honors from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she majored in accounting and earned a bachelor’s degree.
She is a certified public accountant who worked with Haynes, Strand and Company as a staff accountant before joining the city government operation. Stone is a member of the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and North Carolina Government Finance Officers Association.
Stone and her husband Brian have two children, Denver, a freshman at Appalachian State University, and Abbey, a North Surry High School sophomore.
“She is a great team player,” the city manager said of the newly appointed finance director. “And I am excited to have her as part of the team in this position.”
Stone also was elated about her appointment when speaking at the council meeting Thursday.
“I’m excited about it and I’m looking forward to it,” she said of serving as Mount Airy’s finance director.
Speed Limit Lowered
In another matter Thursday, the city commissioners voted unanimously to reduce the speed limit on a local street.
The change affects Witt Street, which is located off West Lebanon Street. The speed limit there has been reduced from 35 miles per hour to 25.
This was recommended by police officials in response to complaints about speeding on Witt Street.
Witt Street runs through a residential area and is described in city documents as “a very narrow, dead-end roadway.” Police Chief Dale Watson told the commissioners Thursday that there is barely enough space for two vehicles to pass each other on Witt Street.
The change is backed by residents of the street based on contacts with them, according to Watson, who said their support was a prerequisite for plans to lower the limit.
Typically, such changes go into effect as soon as signs are erected.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.