Gaura, GovTemps to revamp city finances

By Lark Lewis

DeKalb is hiring financial consultants to make the process for City Council approval expenditures more efficient.

As part of City Manager Anne Marie Gaura’s financial responsibility initiative, DeKalb has entered into a partnership with GovTemps USA LLC to help with the city’s finances. The initiative looks to improve the way the city handles its finances.

GovTemps will provide DeKalb with financial consultants who will take a closer look at the city’s financial matters.

Mayor John Rey said GovTemps will look at all aspects of the city’s finances, including budgeting, purchasing and financial reporting to City Council.

The partnership between GovTemps and DeKalb is part of an employee leasing agreement that will last until June 30 with GovTemps providing financial guidance without the cost exceeding $45,000.

“Anne Marie felt it would be beneficial to bring financial people in,” Rey said. “It was part of [her] initiative from early March.”

Next week, the fiscal year 2015 city budget will be submitted. Rudy Espiritu, assistant city manager and finance director, said he and Gaura have worked on the budget for weeks.

“We’ve been focusing on making sure the city’s financially stable and we continue operations in an efficient and effective manner,” Espiritu said.

GovTemps has financial directors with experience specific to working with city budgets, which was a major selling point, Espiritu said.

“It was just the experience they had. They can provide experience with municipal budget and finance experience,” Espiritu said. “That experience has really helped us out; that’s really what we were looking for.”

On May 17, the city will hold a budget workshop during which the financial policies GovTemps has helped the city with will be discussed.

“I think it’s important that the city does get a good handle on exactly where the finances are as we try to recover from the economic downturn from the past few years,” said second ward Alderman Bill Finucane. “We need to make sure we’re in the right mode to try and keep our expenses under control.”

Finucane said these financial improvements are timed well with adjustments in the city government.

“It’s important to do it now with changes in the past few years with a new mayor and city manager,” Finucane said.