The Harrisburg Town Council named Michele Reapsmith as the new town administrator at last week's regular Council meeting.
Reapsmith, the town's finance director who was also serving as interim town administrator, received an 18-month contract with an $88,720 package that includes salary and benefits.
The announcement follows a nine-month period in which Reapsmith served as interim town administrator after the abrupt firing of Joel Davis in February 2009, less than six months after he was hired.
Davis had replaced long-time town administrator Carl Parmer, who stepped down in June 2008.
Reapsmith became interim town administrator for Harrisburg in March 2009 after being hired as the town's finance director only two months earlier.
After encouragement from town council members and residents, Reapsmith decided to apply for the permanent role of town administrator last summer.
In her interim role, Reapsmith said she had worked to re-establish trust in the community, improve the town's customer service and change residents' perception of the town's government.
"Our employees and residents have been through a lot of changes," she said. "To be honest, I didn't want anybody to come in here and bring it back to the way it was before."
Reapsmith, 41, lives in Charlotte with her husband and 15-year-old son. She received her bachelor's degree in accounting from High Point University and her master's in business administration from American InterContinental University. She's completing her doctorate in accounting from Breyer State University.
A High Point native and Navy veteran, Reapsmith said she strives to bring structure, transparency and regulatory compliance to her work.
Harrisburg Mayor Tim Hagler said the town received about 45 applications for the position. Hiring someone with a strong financial background like Reapsmith, who has been an accountant since 1986, made sense in a stressed economy, he said.
"We made this decision based on her experience and what she's brought to the table so far," Hagler said.
Reapsmith will work as both town administrator and finance director until someone is hired to fill her finance director post. She hopes to have the position filled by July when the town begins its new budget year, she said.
In the meantime, Reapsmith said she plans to hit the ground running.
"There's a lot of work to be done," she said.