The city council of Brookville approved to appoint Sonja Keaton as the new city manager. Keaton was the finance director and had served as acting city manager. CONTRIBUTED

Acting leader becomes official Brookville city manager

Brookville council has approved its finance director as the new city manager.

City council voted at the July 16 meeting to officially appoint Sonja Keaton, finance director, as the city manager, effective July 21. She had been acting city manager since March.

“I will continue to work with citizens and business leaders to carry on our motto as A Proud and Progressive Community,” Keaton said.

She will be interim finance director until the city fills that position.

Keaton’s annual pay will be just more than $94,000, which is about $3,923 biweekly. She was making just less than $84,000 as finance director.

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The first things Keaton hopes to do are to help displaced residents that were affected by the tornado, meet with representatives of the business community and meet with council to discuss the future of the Brookville.

“My long-term goal is for the prosperity and well-being of the city and its residents,” Keaton said.

She became acting city manager after Gary Burkholder turned in an abrupt resignation March 19. He was in his position for more than three years.

It is unclear why Burkholder resigned. The agreement said neither party would comment to the news media or on social media about his departure. The city also promised to provide a neutral reference to potential employers for Burkholder.

Keaton came to the city in 1993 and worked in various roles that include clerk of council, deputy clerk and director of finance.

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“With my 26 years of experience and background that I gained as finance director, clerk of council and assistant city manager with the city of Brookville, and the mentoring that I received from former Brookville City Manager John Wright, and former Finance Director Gene Roeser, that prepared me for the city manager position,” Keaton said.

In a late March interview, she said she was uncertain if she would apply for the city manager position.

She is a 1975 graduate of Brookville High School and is a certified public finance administrator.

Keaton and her husband, Ray, have three children, Justin, Shawna and Alicia. They also have three grandchildren Evan, Jackson and Logan.

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