GARLAND — In front of Garland’s Board of Commissioners, Pam Cashwell placed her left hand on a Bible, raised her right arm and took an oath for the town.
After an executive session Tuesday, the commissioners made a decision to hire Cashwell as the town clerk with a salary of more than $41,000.
“I’m excited,” Cashwell said. “I’m pleased that the board has the faith and confidence in me to come back and do a good job.”
The search began after former clerk Jennifer Gray submitted a letter of resignation in June. She noted that her decision was due to a less than desirable work environment. Gray was previously placed on probation behind a tardy 2012-13 audit.
For the past three weeks, Caswell has assisted with the audits.
“My goal is to update and get the financial status of the town in an up-to-date fashion as far as our auditing,” Cashwell said. “Hopefully within the first 60 days.”
Cashwell worked as a registered nurse for 30 years after receiving a degree from Sampson Community College.
The Sampson County native attended school in Garland and graduated from Union High School. Her father, Charles T. Cashwell, is a former Garland mayor.
Cashwell is no stranger to work in town hall when it comes to financial woes.
After the town faced financial problems a few years ago — a longtime clerk ultimately pleaded guilty to embezzlement last year — Cashwell filled the void. She volunteered for three months and officially filled the position for about six months. During that period, Cashwell provided assistance with bookkeeping, finances and other issues daily.
She later resigned, giving no explanation for her decision in 2012. During the same period, Gray was named the town clerk/financial officer.
Mayor Winifred Murphy said she’s looking forward to Cashwell serving the town of Garland.
“I’m looking forward to working with her again and I think she will help us get back on the right track,” Murphy said.
Garland OKs budget
Following a public hearing Monday, the Garland Board of Commissioners approved its 2014-15 budget with no tax increase for residents.
The property tax rate will remain at 72 cents per $100 in assessed property valuation.
According to the approved budget, the General Fund totals $422,900. The biggest expenditure for the town is administration at $91,000. That expense is followed by sanitation ($88,000) and the police department ($87,144). More than $81,000 will go towards streets and highways.
Funds for water/sewer administration and operations is set at $277,800.
Revenue for the Powell Bill Fund is more than $60,000. The purpose of the state program is to help incorporated municipalities with street projects. Funds are to be used to maintain, repair, construct, reconstruct or widen any street or public thoroughfare. It can also be used for planning, construction and maintenance of bikeways, greenways or sidewalks.
Grant revenue for the North Carolina Small Towns Economic Prosperity Program (NC STEP) is listed at $100,000.
Chase Jordan can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 136. Follow us on Twitter: @SampsonInd