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Finance Director, City of Ferndale

Published Jul 12, 2021

Ferndale, MI (pop. 20,428) – The City of Ferndale is located in southeast Oakland County, Michigan, offering an outstanding, unique and dynamic urban experience with easy access to major metropolitan areas and an international airport. Known for its award-winning downtown, community events, excellent housing options, and welcoming culture, the City of Ferndale is proud of the high quality of life it offers its residents.  

The Finance Director coordinates and performs the financial accounting and treasury functions of the City. This position ensures accurate accounting of all City funds, monitors expenditures, collects taxes and other receivables, administers accounts payable, oversees debt issuance and repayment, coordinates risk management, assists in the preparation of the annual budget, and coordinates the audit process.  This position is part of the senior leadership team of Ferndale. The city commits to invest in the development of its executive leaders and is interested in candidates who will dedicate a minimum of three years to the position. 

The Finance Director reports to the City Manager.  This position exercises considerable independent initiative and judgement while leading a staff of 5 full-time employees, including a Finance Manager.  Four of the employees are part of the of an AFSCME clerical union.  The Director, in coordination with the individual department heads, is responsible for an annual operational budget of approximately $23 million.

Ideal candidates will be committed to Ferndale’s mission statement, “The benchmark for a modern community that embraces the richness of diversity and brings inclusive hospitality to life.”  The successful candidate will have strong financial management skills and be able to continue to guide the City toward balanced budgets, consistent quarterly reporting including budget adjustments, empower and facilitate directors to be responsible for department level budgets, support the continuity of the city’s AA-credit rating, and forward-looking management of the City’s ARPA federal stimulus funds.

Important objectives for this position include:

  1. The City of Ferndale adopted a Program-Based budget in 2021. This was the City’s first year utilizing a budgetary tool organized around the City’s programs and services, a copy of the budget can be viewed here The Finance Director will continue the development of the City’s program-based budgeting initiative with the City Manager’s office. This is an exciting evolution in local government budgeting that provides a more relatable and transparent budget story to the community, Council, and staff.
  2. Update the City’s financial policy book with an emphasis on intentionally incorporating the City’s mission statement, cultural values, and equity. The right candidate has an opportunity to steer city procurement processes and policies in a more equitable and current way.
  3. Succession planning and leadership development within the finance department. The City has a talented team with the potential to be developed into local government’s next generation of financial leaders and stewards. The right candidate has an opportunity to coach, develop, and organize the department to enhance the individual growth and effectiveness of team members.
  4. Manage key performance indicators (KPIs) for the Finance Department. KPIs include credit rating, balanced budget, maintenance of fund balance levels within policy targets, and achievement of professional development goals for individuals and the department.  The successful candidate will lead the department with a focus on the KPIs, including providing policy advice regarding the short-term and long-term impacts of City-wide and departmental financial decisions.

Required minimum qualifications, knowledge, abilities, and experience:

  • Educational requirements include a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, public administration, or related field. A Master’s degree and/or CPA is strongly preferred.
  • Experience requirements include five years of professional accounting or financial management in a municipal setting with supervisory experience.
  • Thorough knowledge of the principles, practices and legal regulations of municipal finance, budgeting, accounting, debt management, and investing.
  • Thorough knowledge of the methods and techniques of bookkeeping, accounting, internal controls, and financial reporting.
  • Thorough knowledge of public management techniques involved in operations management, personnel administration, and labor negotiations.
  • Considerable knowledge of insurance program administration, payroll, benefits, and risk management.
  • Skill in assembling and analyzing financial data, developing operating and capital budgets, and in preparing comprehensive and accurate reports.
  • Skill in effectively communicating ideas and concepts orally and in writing, and in making presentations in public forums.
  • Provides leadership and motivation to all subordinates, promoting unity and positive working relationships between all department personnel and other City officials and employees, as well as other State, County, and local officials.

Additional requirements:

  • Possess advanced knowledge and experience with PC applications and operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office 365 applications, including but not limited to Word, Excel, and Outlook.
  • Possess general knowledge of web- based programs.
  • Ability to master other software as needed.

Starting salary is $94,172 to $117,607 (DOQE), with excellent benefits. 

Apply at with resume, cover letter, contact information and professional references by August 5, 2021.  Any questions or inquiries regarding the position can be made to the attention of Jaymes Vettraino, Vice President, GovHR USA, 630 Dundee Road, Suite 225, Northbrook, IL 60062, Tel: (o) 847-380-3240 ext. 126.

Ferndale is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. The City values diversity, equity and inclusion, all qualified applicants will receive consideration with these values in mind.

Click HERE to Apply!