Breaking News.....Finance Director Tim Elliott Retiring ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Monday, August 2, 2010

Breaking News.....Finance Director Tim Elliott Retiring

(The below is from a city news release. My comments follow at the end.....)

Mayor Joshua J. Cohen announces that Timothy Elliott, the City’s Finance Director since 2002 and a 26-year veteran of City government, will retire from his post Sept. 1 to pursue a job in the private sector.

Under Mr. Elliott’s tenure, the City received its highest bond rating as well as numerous awards for financial and budgetary reporting.

Mr. Elliott was hired as Chief Accountant for the City in 1983. He was promoted to Assistant Finance Director in 1994. He took over as Acting Finance Director in January 2002 before he was appointed Finance Director in July 2002. Before his tenure with the City, Mr. Elliott worked as a Fiscal Associate in the General Accounting Division,Comptroller of the Treasury, beginning in 1979.

Mr. Elliott serves on the Maryland Government Finance Officers Association Executive Board, the Accounting and Audit Committee of the Local Government Insurance Trust Board of Directors and the Mid-Atlantic Pension Plans Executive Board.

“I want to thank Tim for his years of service to the City,” Mayor Cohen said. “His experience has been a considerable help during these first months of my administration. Tim played a pivotal role this year
in assisting the City Council and me to successfully close our City's unprecedented budget deficit. I wish him and Diane nothing but the best in his new career.”

Mayor Cohen has instructed City Manager Michael D. Mallinoff to immediately begin efforts to hire a successor to Mr. Elliott. As well, Mr. Mallinoff and Mr. Elliott are working to provide the City Council with updated projections on the City’s finances later this month.

AND ACP ADDS.....There is no doubt that Elliott walked a tightrope under Moyer and then under Cohen. By most accounts he was a capable financial manager and worked well with citizens and alderpersons. He was and probably remains the only person alive who truly understands our budget details, indeed, if such a thing is possible. He managed to keep out of political disputes and remain above the fray, but I suspect that he understood more about what was happening and where we were going long before Cohen inherited what he called the "trainwreck" of the previous administration. It was not his choice to decide what to do, but only to provide information and make recommendations. However, it's probably best for all that a new CFO comes to town and can perhaps find new and other ways to deal with our fiscal crisis. Despite Elliott's otherwise high marks in his lengthy career with the city, he must be held accountable for a nearly disastrous mishap when over a hundred thousand dollars in cash and mainly (fortunately) in checks disappeared from an unsecured room while Elliott, Mayor Cohen and other city officials were upstairs in council chambers deliberating about the budget.  I think the writing was on the wall then despite no indications that Elliott was on his way out. In the aftermath of the major ripoff, ACP reluctantly called for his resignation. I want to thank Tim  for his service and do hope we will be able to find someone of equal skill and ability to master our complex budgetary issues and fiscal management.

However, despite calling Mike Malinoff a "city manager", readers are asked to note the wording of the mayor's press release which reads "Mayor Cohen has instructed City Manager Michael D. Mallinoff to immediately begin efforts to hire a successor to Mr. Elliott." A real city manager would not need or appreciate such instructions coming from the mayor. That is what a mayor does with a city administrator.

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