Pam Tomlinson’s title as Finance Director is a joke She doesn’t even have accounting education or experience. No wonder our books have been cooked

Pam Tomlinson carries the title of “Finance Director” but her job in White Springs barely fulfills general accounting.  During Ms. Tomlinson’s tenure, grant money has not been handled appropriately, she does not compile monthly budgets, doesn’t know what construction invoices are, receives money from FEMA but uses the money in the General Fund, and definitely does not retain a restrictive fund for Local Option Fuel Tax.  Anyway, this is what a “Finance Director’s” resume’ looks like:

Reporting to the City Administrator, the Finance Director will plan, direct, and manage the Finance Department which is responsible for all of the financial and information service functions of the City, including budgeting, financial planning, debt management, accounts payable and receivable, cash management, utility billing, business licensing and taxation and information services.

As a key staff member, the Finance Director:

  • Serves as Chief Financial Officer and principal financial advisor to the Mayor, City Council and City Administrator; provides leadership, direction, and guidance in financial strategies and priorities; compiles, evaluates, and analyzes financial data; recommends and implements solutions; ensures financial activities and procedures are in compliance with all laws, policies, regulations, and accounting standards.
  • Develops and directs financial plans and policies to meet City goals; interprets concerns, defines desired results, develops solutions, and determines scope and priorities of programs and special projects.
  • Analyzes financial information on City operations, evaluates City’s needs, and recommends financial resource requirements; reviews and monitors status reports and recommends appropriate actions; oversees the preparation of and presents financial forecasts and status reports to City Council; ensures effective communication of financial issues.
  • Monitors Finance Department operations and internal financial controls; ensures the quality of the financial activities, services, and work products; prepares statistical analysis to evaluate trends and financial status; develops revenue and expenditure forecasts and recommends budget adjustments.
  • Coordinates development of City budget and recommends funding allocations; monitors budget, revenue, and expenditure trends;
  • Coordinates Finance Department activities and issues with elected officials, outside agencies, boards, and commissions; interprets and explains City policies, procedures, rules, and regulations.
  • Directs staff and provides leadership and guidance; develops priorities and assigns tasks and projects; develops staff skills and training plans; conducts performance evaluations; meets regularly with staff to discuss and resolve priorities and workload and technical issues.
  • Supports the relationship between the City  and the constituent population by demonstrating courteous and cooperative behavior when interacting with clients, visitors, and City staff; promotes the City goals and priorities in compliance with all policies and procedures.
  • Maintains confidentiality of work-related issues, client records, and City information; performs related duties as required or assigned.

Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have a master’s degree in Finance or Accounting and five years’ of progressively responsible and related public sector experience or a bachelor’s degree in the same areas and ten years of progressively responsible and related public sector experience. CPA is preferred.

The ideal candidate will have knowledge of:

  • City organization, operations, policies, and procedures.
  • Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB), Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), and Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) standards; recommended practices, policies, rules, and regulatory reporting requirements.
  • Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and Generally Accepted Auditing Principles for Public Sector financial management, including payroll, treasury, grant funds, and public debt management.
  • Legal, ethical, and professional rules of conduct for municipal finance officers.
  • Techniques and practices for effective and efficient management of allocated resources, including personnel administration, labor law, and risk management.
  • Record keeping and file maintenance principles and procedures.
  • Business and personal computers, and financial spreadsheet software applications.
  • General ledger reconciliation standards.
  • Local community issues and regional community resources available to citizens.

The ideal candidate will be skilled in:

  • Reading, interpreting, understanding, and applying accounting standards and procedures, applicable Federal and State rules and regulations, and City policies and procedures.
  • Analyzing financial issues, evaluating alternatives, and developing recommendations and strategies.
  • Analyzing City needs and prioritizing and promoting financial strategies to meet future needs.
  • Monitoring and interpreting financial documents, and ensuring compliance with all regulatory requirements governing municipal financial activities.
  • Reviewing interrelated financial and technical records, and identifying and reconciling errors.
  • Using initiative and independent judgment within established procedural guidelines.
  • Directing and leading staff, and delegating tasks and authority.
  • Establishing and maintaining cooperative working relationships.
  • Assessing and prioritizing multiple tasks, projects, and demands

 

Yes, this position would probably start at $20,000-30,000 more than Pam Tomlinson is making now, but look at the differences in what a Finance Director that is a professional does in comparison to that which Tomlinson handles.   Below is an account position, for which Tomlinson is also not qualified for, yet there is not much of a difference in her salary from that which was offered in this FL position:

 

This is professional accounting work performing and coordinating varied complex accounting and fiscal operations and activities in the Police Department. Work includes responsibility for supervision of other professional and clerical employees engaged in similar activities. Work involves routine accounting and pre-auditing functions; the preparation, analysis, maintenance, reconciliation and verification of fiscal records; posting and balancing accounts; reviewing invoices for accuracy; reconciling accounts; preparing trial balances and special reports; maintaining revenue account controls for assigned municipal activities; grant management; budget preparation and analysis; and assisting in the preparation of year-end closing. This position is responsible for coordination between department divisions and other City departments on fiscal matters, record keeping, reporting requirements, and other duties as assigned. An employee in this class is required to exercise considerable independent professional judgment and initiative in solving problems through the application of a thorough knowledge of the City’s and Department’s financial policies and practices.

To Qualify

Minimum Qualifications. Applicants must:
  • Have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college, with major course work in accounting or a related field.
  • Possess and continue to maintain a valid Driver License.
  • Be proficient in the use of a personal computer.
  • Have extensive experience with financial systems applications (preferably OracleeBusiness Suite).
  • Have advanced knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite (especially Word and Excel).
  • Have superior analytical and critical thinking abilities.
  • Be able to work effectively both independently and in a team environment.
  • Be able to effectively multi-task, meet deadlines and coordinate activities across department divisions.
  • Have excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Be able to competently perform detail work involving written or numeric data and to make arithmetical calculations rapidly and accurately.
Desirable Qualifications. Preferred applicants:
  • Are licensed by the State of Florida as a Certified Public Accountant.
  • Have supervisory experience.
Essential Qualification: Applicants must meet selection standards for civilians working in the Police Department, including polygraph and background check. Please refer to the St. Petersburg Police Department Website for selection standards and screening process details:

 

Selection ProcessIMPORTANT APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

For purposes of employment, re-employment, promotion, transfer or demotion, the most qualified applicants will be selected to continue in the hiring process. At this point, any prior criminal records will be verified. A prior criminal record will not necessarily disqualify a selected applicant from employment.
The City of St. Petersburg is committed to a Drug Free Workplace and compliance with the Department of Transportation (DOT) drug testing rules. Applicants may be required to successfully complete pre-employment drug testing and/or medical exams.

The City of St. Petersburg is committed to affirmative action and equal opportunity employment, and encourages individuals with disabilities and veterans to apply for posted positions. In accordance with Chapter 295 of the Florida Statutes, qualified servicemembers/veterans and the spouses/family members of certain servicemembers/veterans receive preference/priority in employment. Eligible applicants are responsible to apply for Veterans’ Preference at the time of submission of any job application. Reasonable accommodations may be made for qualified individuals with disabilities to apply, to interview for positions and to perform the essential job functions.

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