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  1. What is your current job title? Finance Director
  1. How long have you been in the position? I have been in the position of Finance Director for 3 ½ years, but I’ve been with the Columbus Consolidated Government for over 10 years.

  1. How did you decide to go into local government finance? A corporation that I worked for decided to outsource their operations to India and I worked in operations. I decided at that time that I wanted a job with more stability and working for the government would provide that for me.

  1. What is the best part about being in local government finance? Why? I think the best part of being in local government finance is that you learn so much about what really goes on in your community in terms of the services provided and level of effort it takes to maintain the best quality of life for everyone. I’ve lived in Columbus most of my life, but I never fully understood or appreciated what it takes to run a city our size until I started working for the government.

  1. Describe your organization and department. The City of Columbus and Muscogee County consolidated back in 1971 to become Georgia’s first consolidated government. The Finance Department consists of the following divisions: Financial Administration, Accounting, Revenue, Financial Planning, Purchasing, and Cash Management. The Finance Department manages the day-to-day financial functions of the Columbus Consolidated Government to include budgeting, investments, revenue collection, cash management, debt administration, and financial reporting.

  1. What do you love about your community? I love that Columbus still has a “small town feel” even as Georgia’s third largest city. I also feel that some of the kindest people live right here in Columbus and that is often seen by the acts of kindness performed throughout the community. We are a community that cares for its people, and I’m thankful to be a part of it.

  1. Describe your annual budget process. The Budget Process begins in October with preparation and planning for the next fiscal year. Department Budget Kickoff normally occurs in early January where we instruct departments on the current fiscal conditions and what is expected for budget submission. Budgets are due in mid-February. The two weeks prior to budget review, budget analysts review budget submissions, verify data, and prepare the information for the City Manager's review. March's City Manager's review includes determining a viable budget based on priority needs and available revenues to come out with a balanced budget - it is also reviewed and presented to the Mayor for approval. In April, we prepare a recommended budget document for the Mayor to present to Council and the public. After presentation, Council deliberates on the recommended document and makes any adjustments for the adoption of the annual budget.

  1. Tell us something not many people know about you. I am an avid reader. I probably read a book or two every week.

  1. What is your passion outside of the ledger? I love spending time with my family whether it’s on vacation or just being together on the weekends.

Article Submitted By:
Amy Bennett
Director and Communications Committee