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Town Treasurer – La Plata, Maryland

 

The Position

La Plata’s next Town Treasurer will have the opportunity to join a town with healthy reserves, low debt, and sound financial management. The Treasurer is hired by the Mayor and Council and is supervised by the Town Manager. The Town Manager is working closely with the Mayor and Council on this recruitment and will participate in the selection process. The Town Manager and Treasurer have had strong working relationships and have worked closely on the budget and Town priorities. The Town Treasurer is retiring after more than nine years of service to the Town.

The Town Treasurer is the chief financial officer and administrator of La Plata’s finance and budget programs. The Treasurer is responsible to the Town Manager, the Mayor, and the Council for the proper administration of all financial affairs of the Town. Under provisions of the Town Charter and Code, the Town Treasurer prepares the Town’s annual budget for the Mayor and Council’s consideration.

The Treasurer serves as the Director of the Finance Department and manages a staff of five. The Director is a liaison between the Town, banks, fiscal agents, insurance, and other government agencies. The Treasurer is responsible for preparing financial statements and reports, as well as researching, analyzing data, and making fiscal recommendations for the Town.

The Director develops and manages the disbursement and collection of Town funds, monitors and controls all the Town’s financial transactions, and ensures that sufficient cash funds are available. The Treasurer is responsible for managing the investments of the Town and providing regular status, activity, and performance reports to the Manager, Mayor, and Council. The Treasurer also oversees contracts for services, including Information Technology services.

The Organization

The Town of La Plata was incorporated on April 4, 1888 and operates under a Council-Manager form of government. The governing body consists of an independently elected Mayor and four Councilmembers, all of whom are elected by ward every four years.

The Town has four departments – Planning, Finance, Public Works, and Police. The General Fund Budget for FY2018 is $7.78 million and the Town has 63 full and part-time employees. The Town operates several Enterprise Funds which support sanitation, water, sewer, and stormwater management programs.

The Finance Department

The Finance Department is primarily responsible for managing the Town’s fiscal resources. This includes development of the Town’s budgets, management and investment of funds, collecting amounts due to the Town, paying employees and vendors, and the preparation of reports documenting the Town’s financial activity and position.

The Department is also responsible for maintaining the Town’s utility billing system, which includes establishment and maintenance of utility accounts, the issuance of utility bills, and collection of utility payments.

In FY2018, the Department has six positions and an operating budget of $535,455. The following organizational chart illustrates the current reporting structure within the Department.

Experience & Education

The minimum requirements for this position are a bachelor’s degree in public administration, finance, or related degree, and five years of government budget/finance experience with some management/supervisory experience.

Preferred qualifications include a master’s degree in public finance, public administration, accounting, finance, or related field and a Certified Public Finance Officer (CPFO) or Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation as well as experience with utility billing, information technology, and strong budget and fiscal management in a fiscally conservative local government environment.

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal Finance Director will be an experienced and knowledgeable local government finance professional with the ability to be a strategic partner in the organization’s performance. He or she will possess experience and strong skills in the areas of accounting, budgeting, procurement, risk, and 
investment management as well as vast knowledge of financial regulations, policies, procedures, and best practices.

The ideal candidate will have the demonstrated ability to lead a department and grow and develop staff. The next Town Treasurer will be a strong, collaborative leader who is able to work with a variety of stakeholders to achieve the Town’s goals. The Treasurer will encourage an environment of collaboration and partnership and have a demonstrated talent for innovation and ingenuity. The successful candidate will be a good listener and demonstrate the ability to interpret problems and develop thoughtful solutions and options, as well as exercise tact and diplomacy. The Treasurer will have sound judgment and solid decision-making skills.

The next Treasurer will be a quick learner and able to adapt to changing priorities. The successful candidate must be politically astute, technologically savvy, and an effective communicator. He or she will be a leader, with the ability to articulate complex issues and long-term implications in a manner that is understood by various audiences.

The Community

La Plata was originally founded in the 1870s as the Pennsylvania Railroad was granted a right of way to build its tracks and station. Since then, it has grown into a vibrant community of over 9,000 residents with hundreds of small businesses that serve southern Maryland. La Plata is conveniently located in southern Maryland about 30 miles southeast of Washington, DC; 60 miles south of Baltimore; 45 miles southwest of Annapolis; and 80 miles north of Richmond, Virginia. La Plata serves as the county seat for the Charles County Government.

According to the 2016 US Census American Community Survey, the ethnic makeup of the community is 64% White, 31% Black, 3% Hispanic, and 2% Asian. In addition, the median household income is $87,759 and the median age is 34.6 years old. The Town has a total area of 7.63 square miles and is located just two miles from the shores of the Potomac River.

La Plata’s central location in southern Maryland provides excellent access to some of the mid-Atlantic’s most popular destinations. Despite this central location, La Plata retains its small-town charm and naturalistic beauty. Framed by the Clark Run Nature Area, Laurel Springs Regional Park, and Hawthorne Country Club, La Plata is within a five-minute drive of Chapel Point State Park and the banks of the Potomac River. Highway 301, which brings north-south travelers directly through La Plata, connects Virginia and Maryland via the Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge, a span across the Potomac that provides amazing views of the river.

The Town is located on land that was originally part of a 6,000-acre land grant given to Colonel Samuel Chapman, a member of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Colonel Chapman traveled widely during his life, to the western United States as far as Colorado and to South America as far as Argentina. It was during these travels that he encountered the beautiful La Plata River (or “River of Silver,” in English) on the border of Argentina and Uruguay. Upon returning to his home in Maryland, he named a portion of his property La Plata because of its similarity to the shimmering river.

The Town of La Plata has many mature, old growth trees, which give the area a sense of being far away from urban city life. Unfortunately, this idyllic location was the site of a major F4 tornado in 2002, a natural disaster that destroyed parts of the downtown and damaged Town Hall. But the spirit of the community was reaffirmed as damaged structures were rebuilt with a new vision for the future of La Plata. In fact, the community’s new Town Hall became southern Maryland’s first LEED-certified building.

Residents of La Plata enjoy several community events throughout the year, including the Friday Night Concert Series during the summer and the Fall Festival in October where neighbors come together to enjoy music, crafts, and great food. The community has many interesting cultural attractions, including Saint Ignatius Church, which, founded in 1641, is the longest continually serving Catholic Parish in the United States; the Samuel A. Mudd House and Museum, famous home of the doctor who set the broken leg of John Wilkes Booth; as well as a thriving community theater scene, including the Port Tobacco Players. Major employers of La Plata residents include the Charles County government, University of Maryland Charles Regional Center (formerly Civista), the College of Southern Maryland, and the Naval Support Facility Indian Head. La Plata is truly in the center of it all.

Compensation

The salary range for the position is $92,000-$147,000, depending on qualifications, with an excellent benefit package that includes the Maryland state retirement and pension system and 100% Town-paid health insurance for employees and dependents.

How to Apply

Apply Online

Applications will be accepted electronically by The Novak Consulting Group at thenovakconsultinggroup.com/jobs and will be kept confidential. Applicants first complete a brief online form and then are prompted to provide one document (Word or PDF) that has a cover letter and resume with salary history. Open until filled with first review of applications on July 9, 2018.

Questions

Please direct questions to Catherine Tuck Parrish at apply@thenovakconsultinggroup.com or 513-221-0500.

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