City hires third new finance director

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The finance department should be receiving some additional help in the form of Robert Thompson, who was hired as the city finance director during a Thursday meeting of the Ironton City Council.

“Mr. Thompson is by far the most experienced of the candidates we’ve had,” councilman Leo Johnson said. “I feel like he’s going to bring a lot to the city.”

Thompson is the former vice president of Star Bank, after which he was with investment bank Dean Witter, he also has his master’s degree in banking. The Flatwoods, Ky., resident will be moving within the city limits.

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Councilman Butch Huff said that the city had been nervous about losing another candidate, as had happened with two previous councilmen. Those fears were allayed by Thompson’s offer to sign a year or two-year employment contract.

Thompson was hired by a unanimous vote at a salary of $42,000.

His aid seems to come just in time, considering the confusion surrounding the purchase of two new vehicles for the city police department.

A budget was on the docket during the meeting that would have included the $15,000 to buy the cruisers from the Ohio State Patrol. But, though it likely would have been approved favorably, it had apparently erroneously not been formally approved during a meeting of the Ironton Finance Committee.

Councilman Richard Price said that he couldn’t approve the new budget without the recommendation, which is required by the city’s charter.

“There’s nothing that says what has changed and hasn’t changed, and there’s no recommendation from the finance committee,” Price said. “I can’t give a knowledgeable vote on this.”

Ironton Police Chief Jim Carey said that his department may hold off on purchasing the used vehicles as his department has begun investigating the value of buying new vehicles.

This revelation came after the council had already awarded the $15,000 through an amendment, so the money will be held until the finance committee can review Carey’s new plan.