Gloucester – Gloucester is looking for a new Finance Director. It’s not an easy position given the current job market and the nature of being Rhode Island’s Director of Finance.
Adam Muccino submitted his resignation on Friday, April 21, a few weeks before final decisions on the town’s budget were voted on. It takes place on Sundays and Tuesdays.
Muccino’s resignation letter was brief and to the point, saying it was an “honor and privilege” to serve the city, and thanked officials for the opportunity. Adopted April 2019 it was done.
Gloucester resident Muccino said: “I’m leaving a lot of great people here.”
Muccino, who previously worked in finance at Bryant University, explained that he made himself available to the town despite the fact that he no longer works. He attended a recent town council meeting on finalizing the budget in case he had any questions.
At that meeting, the council approved the appointment of current tax collector Jane Steere as interim deputy financial director until a new director is found. Compensation will be determined at the next board meeting. The Council also approved discussion of the possibility of recruiting Robert Strom at the next meeting. Strom is Cranston’s current financial director.
“I talked to someone with experience,” said Arnold. “It would be nice to have someone with a fresh eye on finances.”
The council agreed that Strom would be paid $50 an hour, although the rest of the money from Muccino’s salary could also be used.
How hard is it to get a new Finance Director?
“It will be very difficult,” says Jean Féchteau, long-time Gloucester town clerk. “I wish I could find someone with city hall experience.”
Local government finance officers routinely have to handle the myriad of paperwork and forms required by the state. Fecteau explained that it is not easy to negotiate all the government’s requirements.
“It’s incredible to have to report to the state,” she added. “It’s not easy.”
“This job is very difficult,” Alderman Jonathan Burlingame explained at a recent town council meeting.
After further discussion, Arnold suggested that as a further solution, the task of handling the finances of the town’s schools be removed from the account of the Finance Officer.
“It shouldn’t go along with the treasurer,” he said. “It’s okay to work part-time”
Councilor Walter MOSteere III added that in 2004 both tasks were assigned to the Finance Director.
“It’s more complicated now,” he said. “I think this is a good idea.”
The council agreed to discuss further at the next meeting to determine how it would affect the Town Charter guidelines.
According to the job description, the Treasurer is responsible for creating and managing the town’s budget in cooperation with the Town Council and the Budget Committee. This individual manages the town’s financial accounting, recordkeeping, reporting functions and systems, as well as the town’s accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, and employee benefits plans. The director is the manager of all local government funds and oversees the collection and assessment of taxes. This position is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the town’s treasurer’s office, including oversight of the underlings, and also oversees tax assessors and tax collectors.
Salary is another consideration. Fechtaud said he was looking for someone who would be a good fit for Gloucester in terms of experience and salary. Current positions pay between $81,097 and he $106,000, depending on experience and qualifications.
According to the Rhode Island Department of Revenue website (2018), town financial planners are paid anywhere from $52,173 in small town Richmond to $165,436 in Providence, the highest. In 2018, Gloucester was listed as owing her $93,400.