East Providence Budget Commission previews Municipal Fiscal Advisor position

Budget Commission Chairman Diane Brennan and member Peter Graczykowski discuss a matter during the overseers' May 2 meeting. Budget Commission Chairman Diane Brennan and member Peter Graczykowski discuss a matter during the overseers' May 2 meeting.

EAST PROVIDENCE — At its meeting Thursday afternoon, Aug. 1, at City Hall, the East Providence Budget Commission announced the parameters of the soon-to-be hired Municipal Finance Advisor.

The Commission, following up on initial details given last month, provided a draft of the MFA job description preceding the expected start of a search for a qualified candidate.

The position replaces the Administrative and Finance Officer job contained in the original Budget Commission legislation. The post was amended during the recently concluded General Assembly session to better correspond with municipalities such as East Providence governed under a manager-council form. The amendments were spearheaded by city pols Daniel DaPonte and Helio Melo, the respective Finance Committee chairmen in the State Senate and House of Representatives.

Budget Commission member and Human Resources Administrator for the State Christy Healey stated those candidates previously considered for the AFO can reapply for the MFA post. Mrs. Healey also indicated there is no specific time table for the position to be filled.

The MFA, as contained in the legislation, will be seated for a period of five year upon the abolition of the Commission. As part of the amended legislation, State Director of Revenue Rosemary Booth Gallogly will select and appoint the MFA. The Director will also be charged with oversight of the MFA, including any discipline or possible dismissal. Another amendment calls for the city and state will evenly split the compensation for the MFA, expected to include a base salary of $90,000 plus benefits.

“The Fiscal Stability Act amendments, contained in RIGL 45-9-10.1, are a positive development for East Providence, which operates under the Home Rule Charter that specifies the City Council – City Manager form of government. The appointment of a Finance Advisor will provide an opportunity for East Providence to retain an extension of fiscal oversight that should also be viewed positively by rating agencies; while not creating a position with duplicative duties,” said City Manager and Commission member Peter Graczykowski.

He continued, “Also, personnel matters are not under the jurisdiction of this position, but properly with the City and Schools. Most importantly, the Finance Advisor will be helpful to the City and Schools in adhering to the structurally balanced five-year fiscal stability plan developed by the East Providence Budget Commission.” 

The MFA position will include “monitoring the overall budgetary and financial administration and fiscal health” of East Providence after the Budget Commission is abolished. Applicants will be required to have an extensive knowledge and understanding of public administration, municipal accounting procedures and practices, and the ability to prepare, analyze and present municipal budgets to city officials.

Among the duties expected to be undertaken by the MFA are:

  • Recommend sound fiscal policies for implementation and monitoring to city officials.
  • Monitor and oversee all financial operations and activities, including the city’s operating and capital budgets.
  • Review operational results of city funds and evaluating their structural soundness.
  • Advise city financial officials.
  • Assist in all municipal financial affairs.
  • Review and approve the municipal and capital spending plans.
  • Review and approve all proposed labor contracts.
  • Monitor the receipt of revenues and expenditure of all funds.
  • Report every three months to the City Council and all state financial officers on the fiscal stability and operations of the city.
  • Report any inappropriate expenditure, improper accounting procedure and all failures to properly record financial transactions to the City Council.
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