Five finalists selected for county finance director's position

By Thomas Wilson

   Five candidates are in the running to become the Carter County government's first financial director.
   The county's Financial Management Committee (FMC) spent Monday evening interviewing five candidates to fill the new position that will oversee the county's purchasing, payroll, budgeting, capital projects, and financial management system.
   The list of finalists in alphabetical order are as follows:
   * Charles W. Bales, Johnson City: An accountant with a private company in Bristol, Va., he holds a bachelor's of Business Administration (B.B.A.) degree with a major in Accounting from East Tennessee State University. He previously worked as a staff accountant with a health organization in Johnson City.
   * Jason Cody, Kingsport: A senior financial analyst with an investment company in Covington, Ky. A certified public accountant (CPA), he graduated from Berea College with degrees in Business and Economics. He also holds a master's of Business Administration (M.B.A.) with a concentration in Finance from Xavier University in Cincinnati.
   * Angela Finney, Elizabethton: Currently works as payroll administrator with a private company in Johnson City. Graduated from ETSU with a B.B.A. in Accounting in 1987 and served as an IRS accounting agent from 1987 to 1991. She previously served as payroll accountant with Elizabethton City Schools from 1993-1997 and as a staff accountant with an accounting firm in Elizabethton.
   * Jerome Kitchens, Elizabethton: Served as finance director for the Carter County Schools since 1998. Holds two non-business degrees and an M.B.A. from ETSU. Previously served as an accountant with South-Central Development from 1982-1987. He has been employed by the county school system since 1988, as a teacher and Special Projects Coordinator.
   * Diane Pleasant, Elizabethton: Earned a B.B.A. degree with a major in Accounting from ETSU in 1987. She has served as a tax auditor with the Tennessee Department of Revenue's audit division office in Johnson City since 1988. She had previously served as payroll/accounts payable clerk with a company in Johnson City.
   State law requires a finance director to have bachelor of science degree from an accredited college or university with at least 18 hours in accounting.
   The state's 1981 financial management law requires a financial director to develop a purchasing, payroll, budgeting, accounting and cash financial management system for the county.
   Once Carter County hires a financial management director that system must be introduced to the county by July 1, 2003 and fully implemented by August 1, 2004.
   The Committee had discussed hiring a candidate to fill the director's position by the end of August.
   The financial director also has the authority to hire personnel for the finance department, provided that the positions are funded and meet the written job requirements as recommended by the director and approved by the committee.