Paul David Mills was hired as city administrator, effective March 16. He is formerly of Jefferson County, but currently lives in Fayetteville, N.C., Hamill said.
Mills said in a telephone interview that he works as a management analyst for Cubic Applications, a computer design firm.
Mills, 30, grew up in Charles Town, W.Va. He moved away when he was 19 and joined the U.S. Army, where he was a psychological operations specialist. He left the service after nine years as a staff sergeant.
He also earned a bachelor's degree in government and a master's degree in public administration and management while in the service.
"My wife and I always wanted to settle down in a small to midsize community and this is where I felt I could do the most good. I essentially got to travel around the world and knew what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be," Mills said.
Thorne also will be working to groom Mills to serve as his successor, Hamill said.
Thorne will be paid $39,000 a year and Mills will be paid $30,000 a year, Hamill said.
Hamill said town officials will work out the details of how they will work together later.
"They'll both be performing management and administrative functions," Hamill said.
Hamill said he believes that their work in obtaining grants for Ranson, improving the town's infrastructure "so it's revenue generating instead of revenue consuming" and other projects will cover both their salaries.
The mayor and council members spoke highly of Thorne's previous experience running the town's business.
"We're fortunate Mr. Thorne is available," Hamill said. "He's a well-respected and forward-thinking man."
The two were the only candidates considered for the postings, town officials said.
The jobs were not advertised.
John DeFries retired as city manager last November.