(Kitsap Sun (Bremerton, WA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) April 11--BREMERTON -- Cathy Johnson, a longtime city employee who began work in Bremerton in 1979 as an assistant treasurer, has been named city finance director, Mayor Patty Lent announced Thursday.
"I'm excited to be able to work with the mayor's executive team," said Johnson, who's served as interim finance director since January. "Put my experience to good use."
In a news release, Lent praised Johnson's attention to detail, leadership and her crafting of policies across city departments. Hired 35 years ago, Johnson, 57, has remained in the city's finance department. In 2011, she was promoted from finance officer to assistant director.
The position pays $121,177 a year.
Johnson replaces Becky Hasart, who had worked in the position for three years. Though Lent praised Hasart's work, particularly in helping the city maintain service levels through the Great Recession, the mayor wanted to restructure the position and introduce a new director. Already, the mayor removed the human resources department from finance and placed it under City Attorney Roger Lubovich's department, and she plans to move the city clerk's office out of finance as well.
Hasart received 3 1/2 months' severance pay.
Finance directors haven't been known to be positions of longevity in recent memory in Bremerton. Andy Parks, who served under former Mayor Cary Bozeman, was fired by Lent soon after she took office. Former Kitsap County Treasurer Barbara Stephenson replaced Parks but only served in the position a few months before she retired. Hasart replaced Stephenson.
Johnson had not applied for the position in the past, according to the release from Lent, but decided to do so "with the restructuring of City governance and opportunities to create a more efficient and inner working relationship between all departments."
A replacement for assistant finance director will be hired to fill the vacancy left by Johnson, as will an additional financial analyst.
"Cathy continues to be an asset to the City and Mayor Lent is extremely happy to have her historic knowledge and expertise in fulfilling this major position in City government," the release said.
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