Crestwood Finance Director

Crestwood fills new director of finance post

Diana M. Madrid has been named to the city of Crestwood’s newly created post of director of finance.

Madrid, a former director of finance for the city of Manchester, was named to the Crestwood post last week by the Crest-wood Board of Aldermen.

As previously reported exclusively by the Call, City Administrator Don Greer recently told the Ways and Means Com-mittee that he planned ask the Board of Aldermen on March 11 to eliminate the position of finance officer and create the new position of director of finance.

“… I think you can expect to see at the first meeting in March a request to eliminate the position of finance officer and create the position of director of finance as an exempt employee. I am more than halfway done with the interviews for the candidates that have applied,” Greer told the committee Feb. 22.

The current position of finance officer is a Civil Service position as are all other city positions except city administrator, police chief, fire chief, public works director and parks and recreation director, which are exempt positions. While the city administrator serves solely at the discretion of the Board of Aldermen, those who hold other exempt positions are considered “at-will” employees who serve at the discretion of the city administrator.

A total of 48 people applied for the new post and Greer interviewed seven candidates before recommending Madrid to the board for approval. Of the seven he interviewed, he requested additional documentation from three candidates, including Madrid.

“Having now reviewed that supplemental information, my initial reaction has been reinforced,” Greer wrote in a March 7 memo to the Board of Aldermen. “Ms. Madrid’s history of thorough documentation, analyses and presentation are significant. I find her work to be clear, complete and appropriate for a director of finance.”

Madrid holds an undergraduate degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting from St. Louis University and credit hours toward complementary graduate degree. She brings 12 years of experience to her new post in Crestwood, including six years as director of finance for Manchester.

During that time, she received the city’s first award from the Government Finance Officers Association for budget presentation and continued with that award for five years. She also is a three-time recipient of the GFOA’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in An-nual Financial Re-porting for the Comp-rehensive Annual Fi-nancial Report.

“As I’ve communicated to you and the Ways and Means Committee, I believe it is imperative for the city of Crestwood to re-invent our presentation of budget and information in such a manner that it meets the standards that I’ve outlined above,” Greer told aldermen.

“You’ll find Diana to have a most professional, yet pleasant demeanor in her approach to the complexities of the position. She has displayed a clear understanding and acceptance of our current situation and is committed to both the time and energy required to ready the city for the future.

“I offer this appointment without hesitation. In a field of highly qualified candidates, I believe the adage holds true that the cream truly rises to the top and did in this case,” he said.

Ward 2 Alderman Tim Trueblood said, “Mr. Greer, is our candidate, Miss Madrid, comfortable with the understanding that if this board, the Ways and Means (Commit-tee) or any part of the administration brings to her an item in the budget that is not in (agreement) or the process that we come to expect those items to be handled financially within our city that she has the duty to come to this board and speak to that issue if she cannot get it stopped before this board acts on it? In other words, we want her to be able to have that comfort level that if there is a proposal that’s just going to break the budget she has a right to stand up and say so and we want her to do it.”

Greer replied, “To begin with, that’s not going to occur.”

Trueblood said, “OK.”

Greer continued, “If under some incredibly unforeseen circumstance, that should occur, I’ve made it painfully clear to her what responsibilities she has. You know, at Ways and Means in particular we discussed and that’s largely part of my approach to making this an exempt position is that this position does have a fiduciary responsibility that supersedes what I would call the loyalty to as an employee or the fear, however you want to address it, that an employee in the classified service or the Civil Service would have and that fiduciary responsibility supersedes (that).”

Trueblood said, “That’s the answer I wanted to hear. That’s what I wanted to find out.”