Elam gets job in city finance

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 14, 2007

There is a familiar face in the Ironton City Finance Department; it’s ex-mayor John Elam.

He has been hired to be the assistant finance director by Finance Director Kathy Elam.

John Elam said it doesn’t seem weird to head to the office on the left instead of the right when he walks up the stairs of the City Building.

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“Part of responsibility I had assumed as mayor was pretty tight financial overview,” he said. “I think (the assistant director job) is a logical fit.”

Kathy Elam said she hired John Elam because he has a background in accounting and after four years as mayor and two years on City Council, he is very familiar with the city budget.

“I think it’s a good move for the city and for our department here,” she said. “He’s good at crunching numbers and right now, I’m short staffed and he’ll help us get through the year.”

Besides she may have a little fun with the role reversal.

“I knew what it was like working with him and I knew he was a good manager,” she said. “But I think I like telling him what to do now.”

Right now the Finance Department is working on the 2008 budget as well as the usual work of getting accounts in order.

“I’m at the point where I don’t have a lot of time to interview and train someone,” she said. “And he has filled that position well.”

She said while the assistant director position is permanent, she isn’t sure if he will be staying for a long time.

“I know he has other irons in the fire,” she said.

John Elam said he would be working for the city.

“She offered the job and I accepted the job, I plan on helping the Finance Department in any way I can,” he said.

New mayor Rich Blankenship said the hiring was something that is up to the finance director, not the mayor’s office or the City Council.

“He knows the budget,” he said. “I think he’ll do fine.”

Elam said one of the main reasons he chose not to run for re-election was to spend more time with his family and he will be glad to work an 8-hour day.

“To really do everything a mayor has to do, it’s a 60-hour week at least,” he said. “But in order to do something well, it takes a lot of time.”