Member Spotlight Lynette Batiste

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1. What is your current job title? Assistant Finance Director

2. How long have you been in the position? Appointed to position in 2014

3. How did you decide to go into local government finance? Prior to 2006, all financial responsibilities for the City of Riverdale were done in the City Clerk’s office. As the Assistant City Clerk, my primary duties were supervising the accounts receivables clerk, accounts payables clerk, and payroll clerk. In 2006, the City established a finance department, and I was transferred into the new department.

4. What is the best part about being in local government finance? Why? The best part of working in local government is that I interact directly with the residents, businesses or customers every day. My personal belief is that local government employees are held to a much higher standard of work performance because of this direct effect on the pulse of the community, whether you live in the City or not. If we do something incorrectly or improperly, those affected know how and where to find us. Try that at the State or Federal level when an issue has not been handled properly…lol. Also, being fiscally responsible for the management of funds at the local level is more rewarding because I was trained to handle the funds as my own, with the highest level of integrity. The citizens of the City of Riverdale, customers, employees, and governing body are trusting me to do that.

5. Describe your organization and department. The City of Riverdale is located in Clayton County, approximately 10 miles south of Atlanta. The City is governed by the Mayor and four Council persons. The Mayor and Council appoint a City Manager who oversees the daily operations of 6 departments. The City has approximately 135 employees, full-time and part-time.

The Finance department has six (6) employees: Finance Director, Assistant Director, two (2) General Accountants, Accounts Payable Specialist, and Administrative Clerk I.

6. What do you love about your community? I’ve lived in this community for over 32 years and have seen many changes. The population for Riverdale in the late ‘80s was approximately 9,000 residents; and today it is estimated to be over 16,000. The City’s economic base changed during the ‘90s; like other municipalities, the City was dramatically impacted by the housing meltdown of early 2000. The City survived it all and over the past 8 years has sponsored many activities in and for the community that have created a positive camaraderie between the two.

7. Describe your annual budget process. Each department head submits their budget requests to the Finance Director in February of each year. The Finance Director compiles the requests and gives the compilation to the City Manager. The City Manager and the Finance Director hold two meetings with the City Council to get their input. The budget is then balanced, and the proposed balanced budget is given to the City Council in May for further input. The budget is adopted by the City Council in June.

8. Tell us something not many people know about you. I love to dance. Dancing is so freeing, especially if you leave all inhibitions at the door and just have fun moving to the music. My favorite reality show is “So You Think You Can Dance,” because I think I can dance…lol.

9. What is your passion outside of the ledger? I’m in the first year of having all of my time to myself since my youngest child graduated from college, so I’m discovering new passions outside of family. I’ve started attending genealogical classes and they are so inspiring, but very time consuming.

Article Submitted by:
Amy Bennett
GGFOA Director & Communications Committee

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