Meridian Star

Local News

March 9, 2014

McGrevey: CFO search under way

MERIDIAN —     City officials are moving ahead in their search for a new chief financial officer.

    The post has been vacant since Feb. 4, when Mayor Percy Bland let go long time CFO Ed Skipper.

    Mike McGrevey, chief administrative officer for the city of Meridian, said print advertisements for the CFO job are starting today and he is optimistic about finding the right person for the job.

    "What we're looking for is not just the technical abilities. That's a given. You must have the technical abilities," McGrevey said. "We are also looking for somebody who can provide well thought out and reasoned options for us to make decisions from.

    McGrevey said they also want to find someone who can solve most issues before they ever end up on his desk or the mayor's desk.

    "We're looking for somebody who can be very active in participating in the discussions around the table as we are meeting so we can come to better decisions in our planning process," McGrevey said.

    A CFO has to work not only with the CAO and mayor, but also the city council, which sets the budget.

    "It's a critical position. It's a tough job because you've got to help the council and the mayor set the priorities," McGrevey said. "When you are setting priorities, that means choices have to be made because resources are not unlimited. A lot of debate and discussion has to occur to make sure we're keeping everything working out there."

    Another part of the CFO's job has been that of city clerk, who oversees city elections, and McGrevey said the city is already getting some help from county election officials. There is a chance, he said, that elections may be removed from the CFO/city clerk position.

    "It is a possibility. I'm in the midst of reviewing that. Before we make a recommendation to the mayor and the city council, I have to have a deeper understanding of it," McGrevey said. "I'm not saying we're changing it. I'm just saying, like everything here, it's up for review. I'm asking questions about why is it that way. It was probably the right decision years ago, but over time the environment has changed. Is it still the right decision for what we are doing today?"

    McGrevey said he is confident that a number of candidates will inquire about the job.

"I am expecting a solid response with a lot of qualified folks to come in for this position," McGrevey said.

    Just three weeks into his job, McGrevey said he is also in the process of reviewing a number of aspects of city government to learn how the city can save money while efficiently delivering  services to city residents.

    He said he is reviewing all contracts, franchise agreements, and interlocal agreements to make sure they are necessary and that the city is getting the best deals possible. He also is preparing for the budgeting process.

    "There will be many meetings and discussions and to scrub and prioritize requirements," McGrevey said. "It will be intense."

    The CAO is also conducting a review of the city's debt financing to determine where savings can be made. With interest rates falling, some of the city's bond debt could be refinanced.

    McGrevey said he has challenged each department head to review services and look at them through the eyes of the customer. He is reviewing systems, processes and procedures, he said, for work management and services delivery.

    "Because we can do better," McGrevey said.

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