City considers sharing finance director

Published 4:09 pm Saturday, January 22, 2011

Albert Lea city leaders said Thursday they are looking into the option of sharing a finance director with a nearby community.

Interim City Manager Pat McGarvey said the finance director candidate who was going to be coming in for a second interview withdrew from the job search Wednesday and decided to stay with his or her current employer.

Albert Lea has not had a finance director since the middle of October when former Finance Director Rhonda Moen left the city to become the finance director for Owatonna. The city started advertising for Moen’s replacement around the same time.

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Moen had been in this position in Albert Lea since 1993.

McGarvey said the city is still working with AEM Financial Solutions LLC for temporary finance director services and this has been working OK, but it is not the same as having someone in the office on a regular basis.

The contract with AEM Financial Solutions is for eight to 10 hours per week of services at a rate of $110 for the first 50 hours and $122 per hour thereafter. Travel time is billed at $60 per hour.

McGarvey said he is beginning to inquire with city officials in a nearby community to see if a sharing agreement would be appropriate or possible. He said he thinks sharing positions with nearby communities will become even more necessary during tight “If that has potential, and I think it does, I think that would behoove both communities to save a buck and still get the job done just as well,” McGarvey noted.

A few councilors asked whether there could potentially be a shared finance director with Freeborn County or the Albert Lea School District, and McGarvey responded it could be a possibility, but it might be easier to find someone who is used to dealing with city government.

There are different guidelines and requirements in counties and school districts.