Bethany Staats always had her eye on New Albany as a career destination.

The Centerburg resident is the city's new finance director, replacing Chad Fuller, who departed March 17 to take a job with Licking County government.

New Albany City Council on June 6 approved the hiring of Staats, who will begin her new role July 10. Her total compensation of salary and benefits will be $153,574.34, which includes an annual salary of $112,000, according to the city.

Staats most recently served as assistant finance director with the city of Upper Arlington. She was hired by the city in 2013 as a finance manager.

She is a certified public accountant and earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from Mount Vernon Nazarene University and a master's degree in accounting and financial management from the Keller Graduate School of Management.

Staats was one of three people who were in final interviews for the position. Bexley finance director Beecher Hale and Columbus assistant public-services director Steven Wentzel also were interviewed.

City Manager Joe Stefanov said Staats demonstrated her leadership and knowledge of New Albany.

She led a team that audited the city's financial records years ago, he said.

Staats also was well-regarded by her peers as assistant finance director with Upper Arlington, he said.

"She's seen both sides of the operation," he said.

With Staats' hire and the previous appointment of Adrienne Joly as the director of administrative services, the city has one vacant position left: human-resources officer.

Stefanov said city officials are conducting interviews and a candidate should be chosen within the next 30 days.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah