Pekin City Manager Tony Carson has ongoing recruitment efforts to fill the finance director and Pekin Municipal Airport manager positions.
Airport Manager Clayton Stambaugh left for a new position two weeks ago. Nine resumes have been received and are being reviewed.
Pekin has not had a finance director since 2006 and the department currently has three people doing the work in billing, accounts payable and accounts receivable, said Carson. At that time, the city opted to hire a part-time treasurer and left the finance director’s seat vacant.
Carson said a finance director is needed.
“I just feel that (with) the volume of work that’s going through that department, it’s essential to have a finance director,” said Carson. “The people that are in there are doing a great job. It is just not adequate staffing.
“You can look at the efficiency study for all the reasons for that, but I’ve worked in a lot of different municipalities and the amount of money that the city has budgeted and we process in a year, we are actually doing it with a staffing level that is below sufficient levels to continue that process.”
The city of Pekin Efficiency Study completed last year recommended that the city fill the finance director position.
“The city does not produce a Comprehensive Annual Finance Report (CAFR) on an annual basis and relies on an auditor to produce the annual financial statement,” according to the study. “The additional financial information in a CAFR is not available to the citizens of Pekin and analysis of the financial condition and direction of the city is restricted as a result. The presence of a professional level financial director would aid the city in the longer term. The position would also be beneficial for preparation and monitoring of the city’s budget.”
Stambaugh was airport manager for several years and oversaw several improvement projects including the installation of new fueling cabinets and taxiway repairs and new lighting.
Some Pekin City Council members have commented that the airport is a drain on city finances because it typically does not bring in as much money as it costs the city. The repairs are paid for by federal grants, but the city pays a small portion of the costs and has to keep the airport open for 25 years each time it accepts the funding.
Carson said the airport can be an asset that the city can utilize.
“I think they’ve done a good job over the last four years to improve the operations, but as we’re looking at every part of the city’s departments, we’re going to continue to strive to operate more efficiently and look for better opportunities,” Carson said. “... So, I think it is certainly an asset that (the) community has that we can even do more with. And that would be my focus on bringing the next person in is to try to, again as I’m doing for all of the departments, take it to the next level.”
Carson said he received resumes from some “promising candidates.”
Follow Sharon Woods Harris at Twitter.com/sharrispekin