Justin Cotten has been officially approved as Warren County government’s new Finance Department director.
“I’m excited for this opportunity. I can’t lie. I’m a little nervous. It’s a lot of responsibility,” said Cotten.
The department oversees revenues of approximately $86 million a year.
Cotten says he’s looking forward to working with the Warren County Commission. The oath of office will be administered to the 24 commissioners Aug. 27.
Cotten graduated from Warren County High School.
“I look forward to working with Mr. Haley,” he said of County Executive-elect Jimmy Haley. “We have to work closely together, not only because we share a space but because of the overlap. Two people have to sign checks. I haven’t really spoken to him much since I graduated high school. He was a teacher of mine. I look forward to working with him in keeping the county going in the right direction.”
Linda Hillis hired Cotten in April 2012 when the 81 Act was adopted. She is retiring, and he was officially appointed as her replacement Monday by the full Warren County Commission.
As director, he plans on redistributing the workload within the department.
“First, I’m going to restructure the workload. It’s what Linda did when I came onboard. She gave me responsibilities. Over time, when I became comfortable with the duties I had, I took on more. That’s the first place I’m going to go, a restructuring of the workload.”
Financial Management Committee members mentioned during his hiring process an assistant to the director is needed, a realization that Hillis had a tremendous workload. However, the budget for fiscal year 2018-19 was approved without any additional funds for that position.
“I’m going to see about spreading the workload within the office,” said Cotten.
A hiring process will begin for two employees. With Cotten being hired from within the department, someone is needed to replace him. Also, an employee is retiring. Those two open positions will be advertised in Friday and Sunday’s edition of the Southern Standard.