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Member Spotlight John "Kevin" Hutcheson

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1. What is your current job title? Budget and Purchasing Manager

2. How long have you been in the position? 1.5 Years

3. How did you decide to go into local government finance? After getting my Master’s in Public Administration, I worked for a smaller City being split between two departments; planning and finance. After working almost 5 years there I developed a love for public finance. It has always fascinated me the amount of craftwork it takes to assemble a budget and to keep operations going at a minimum cost. I also enjoy the fact that I help keep the City of Gainesville fiscally responsible. Plus, accountants are always fun people to be around.

4. What is the best part about being in local government finance? Why? Helping ensure that public funds are used for services and goods that will directly and positively affect the community as a whole. It is our job as public servants to provide citizens with the services that increase their quality of life. Seeing the difference a forward thinking City can make on citizen’s everyday lives is by far the best part of my job.

5. Describe your organization and department. The City of Gainesville, located in northeast Georgia, is a well-established community with rich history. The City is thriving, having one of the lowest unemployment rates in the Country. Our poultry processing and healthcare sectors have enriched the City’s economy and makes Gainesville one of the best places to live and work. The City’s Financial Services department is made up by a staff of 14. Financial Services is involved in every aspect of the City. It is the department’s mission to ensure that the City’s financial wellbeing is strong and that all departments are compliant with all accounting principles and policies.

6. What do you love about your community? I love the fact that Gainesville is so rich in history. From the 1936 Tornado to the 1996 Olympics. My family is from the Gainesville area and it makes me proud to be part of the community that they called home for so many years. As a kid, I loved hearing stories from my grandparents about how Gainesville was for them growing up. The City has continued to grow since then but the great sense of community has always remained.

7. Describe your annual budget process. The annual budget process starts for the City in late December. The budget team meets with City Management about the goals and direction for the upcoming budget. After a direction has been established the budget team begins to gather all the departmental budget information. We hold several meetings with departments to present both capital projects and operating budgets. The budget team reviews all requests and processes them on a priority basis and submits their recommendations to the City Manager for final approval before going to the City Council. Each department will then present their budgets and yearly goals to the City Council. After all departments have presented, the City Manager will deliver his budget message to the Council. The Council will hold public hearings and then proceed to vote on the new budget.

8. Tell us something not many people know about you. I fell asleep during Game 4 of the 1996 World Series. To be fair, I was 11 and the game (start time- 8:15) went to extra innings and lasted over 4 hours. I’m pretty sure I would still fall asleep if it were today.

9. What is your passion outside of the ledger? My passion in life is to spend time with my wife, Jessica, and my son, Ramsey. Ramsey is 19 months old and is quite the handful. No matter how bad of a day I might have he knows how to put a smile on my face. My other hobbies include having the best looking grass in my neighborhood and playing video games when possible.

This article submitted by:
Amy Bennett
GGFOA Communications Committee