Martie Simpson became Killeen’s new executive director of finance Tuesday, after the Killeen City Council unanimously approved her appointment at its regular meeting.

Simpson, 49, has served as the city’s interim finance director since former finance director Barbara Gonzales was fired in December.

“I am just thrilled for this opportunity and very proud of the community,” Simpson said. “I’m looking forward to serving the city in a little more extended capacity.”

Simpson was hired by the city more than 16 years ago as a management accountant.

As a certified public accountant with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Baylor University, Simpson will earn a salary of $123,478, $1,894 more than her previous salary as assistant finance director.

Gonzales earned a salary of $125,065 before her termination.

Killeen Assistant City Manager-Internal Services Ann Farris said the city advertised the opening “far and wide” for more than six weeks and required CPA certification for all five candidates who were interviewed.

The finance director’s duties include managing all accounts, payments, investments and utility collections and preparing the city budget.

During the same meeting, City Secretary Paula Miller fulfilled her duties of reading the agenda captions and recording the meeting minutes for the last time.

Miller, who has filled the post for the past 20 years, is retiring at the end of July.

Dianna Barker, 42, of Salado, was unanimously approved to take over Miller’s post. She began work at the city Monday, but will officially become secretary July 29, the day before the next regular council meeting. For the past 13 years, Barker has worked as village secretary at the village of Salado, which has a population of about 2,100 people.

In other action, the council approved $207,750 in disbursements of hotel/motel tax funds to area organizations for the arts, including $65,000 to Vive Les Arts Societe, $25,000 to Four Winds Intertribal Society and $23,000 to Vive Les Arts Children’s Theatre.

Contact ​Brandon Janes at or (254) 501-7552

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