Three Rivers searching for new director of finance following Lawson’s departure

Cathy Lawson (Facebook)

The City of Three Rivers is looking for a new director of finance and administration following the departure of former Director Cathy Lawson. 

City Manager Joe Bippus told Watershed Voice Lawson took another position closer to her home in Parchment. Lawson’s Facebook account lists Finance Director at Parchment School District under Work and Education, a position she started on April 3, 2023. Bippus said City Clerk Leslie Wilson is the deputy finance director, and she will be taking over some of Lawson’s former responsibilities. The city is also reportedly planning to use an accounting firm in the interim to assist with those duties. “Cathy indicated before she left that she would continue helping the city through the budget process if we needed her too,” Bippus said. “However, if Cathy ends up being too busy with her new job, then we will use an accounting firm to assist us.”

According to the city’s website, the director of finance and administration position will direct, manage, and oversee the activities and operations of the Administrative Services Departments. The director will administer the fiscal operations of the city; provide direction and strategic planning for various projects assigned by the city manager; function as the chief financial officer for the city; provide highly responsible and complex administrative support to the city manager; and perform other duties as assigned by the city manager. 

The job posting on the city’s website states the position requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a major in accounting, public administration, or a closely related field, or an equivalent combination of experience and education. A Masters of Business Administration, Masters of Public Administration, or Certified Public Accountant degree plus three years of municipal and economic development experience is preferred. Additionally, the city requires applicants to have four years of “broad and increasingly responsible administrative experience in financial management, planning, organization, coordination, and direction of varied municipal activities including a portion of which involved personnel administration and supervising other professional staff.”

Salary for the position is $80,000—$95,000 commensurate with knowledge, skills, and experience, plus benefits. Those interested may apply online, and the position will remain open until filled. 

Beca Welty is a staff writer and columnist for Watershed Voice.