By Tim Gardner
Avery County Finance Officer Nancy Johnson has stepped down from the post. County Manager Phillip Barrier said Johnson gave him her resignation letter last Wednesday, September 5.
Barrier added that Johnson’s resignation is effective immediately.
The Avery Board of Commissioners went into executive (closed) session during their regular monthly meeting Tuesday, September 4, but did not address Johnson’s job status upon returning to open session.
Johnson was unavailable for comment.
She is a veteran of various governmental positions in Avery County. She had been Avery County Finance Officer since February 2015. She also had worked as secretary in the Avery County Manger’s office and served two tenures as payroll technician for the County.
Additionally, Johnson was Secretary/Tax Collector for the Town of Banner Elk in the early 1990s and was Finance Officer for the Town of Beech Mountain for five years before becoming the County’s Finance Officer.
Johnson’s resignation comes at a unique time as the County’s annual audit is underway and the finance officer of any government is involved in the preparation of an audit. But Barrier said that he met last week with representatives of the Young, Miller & Gillespie Public Accountants Company of Spruce Pine, which is performing the audit and that it is “running smoothly.”
Barrier said that the County still employs Deputy Finance Officers Ashley Cole Ingwersen and Starla McClellan, who both will be assisting the Young, Miller & Gillespie Company with the audit if requested.
Barrier also noted that the County is already advertising to fill the Finance Officer’s job and that applications are being taken for the post. He said he hopes a Finance Officer is hired within a “short time frame.”
He also added that since Johnson’s resignation is a personnel issue and confidential by law, he would have no further comment about it.
The County’s audit (2017-18 fiscal year) began in July and is scheduled to be finished by, and released on October 31, 2018. The Young, Miller & Gillespie Accounting Company has conducted the audit for Avery County the past several years.