Nicole Beckett, 30, who has been serving as treasurer for Lehighton Borough since March 2010, is being elevated to borough manager.
The borough council chose Beckett over a field of nine candidates for the position. She was hired by a 6-1 vote, with only council member Dale Traupman opposed.
"She's been with us over a year. We know her work ethics," remarked council President Grant Hunsicker.
Beckett, who has an associate degree in public administration from Kutztown University and is working on her master's, assumes her new position Oct. 1
She succeeds John Wagner, who resigned last Sept. 10 after serving the borough nearly two years. She will receive a salary of $70,000.
Beckett said the borough will advertise for a new treasurer. The deadline for applications will be 4 p.m. on Aug. 8. Council anticipates hiring the new treasurer at its Aug. 22 meeting.
"I could not be more excited to serve in partnership with Lehighton Borough Council," Beckett said of her appointment, "and the professional staff of the borough, while working in the most effective and efficient way possible. I look forward to the continued success of the borough along with bringing my energetic and accountable approach to the challenges we face in local government.
"Most importantly, I look forward to serving the residents of the borough of Lehighton in the growth of the community."
Beckett, the former Nicole Tessitore, is a 1998 graduate of Panther Valley High School.
She received various associate degrees at Kutztown University.
She started her career in public service 10 years ago as secretary and assistant treasurer for Rush Township. She left in 2003, but was called back to Rush in 2007 and served as administrative consultant.
In January 2004, she was hired as secretary/treasurer for Lansford borough. She left that position when she was hired in Lehighton in March 2010.
One of her major projects since becoming treasurer, in addition to putting together the 2011 fiscal budget, was assisting Lehighton Fire Department in applying for a $1.75 million grant for construction of a fire station expansion project.
She and her husband, Benjamin Beckett, have resided in Tamaqua for the past four years.
Beckett commented that one reason she accepted the position of borough manager is because, "This council has been fabulous to work with. I look forward to using my experience as well as my education."
She also praised the assistance and support she received in the borough while serving as treasurer from Brenda Koons, borough secretary, and Kim Rubin, assistant secretary and assistant treasurer.
Hunsicker explained the selection process for the borough manager.
He said the borough looked at the nine applicants, then narrowed the selection to five with Beckett making that short list.
Following the interviews, the council discussed the matter in executive session, then brought it to a vote at a public meeting where Beckett was hired.
"She knows the system," Hunsicker said regarding his support for Beckett. "I think she'll be a great addition as borough manager."
An ordinance outlines the duties of the Lehighton borough manager.
It states: After the close of the fiscal year, compile a report on the financial and administrative activities of the borough for the preceding year; assure that the provisions for all franchises, leases, permits and privileges granted by the borough are observed; attend to the letting of contracts; shall serve as purchasing officer for the borough; and supervise and be responsible for the activities of all municipal departments.