By HEATHER TOMLINSON, CJ Staff Writer Commonwealth Journal
In an effort to better oversee a constantly-expanding and ever-complex budget, Somerset officials have hired the city’s first ever chief financial officer.
During a special-called Somerset City Council meeting Monday, Michelle King, Certified Public Accountant and current chief financial officer (CFO) with Tour Southern and Eastern Kentucky, was unanimously approved by city councilors.
King has been with Tour SEKY since 2005 and is certified in grant management. King told city councilors Monday that she’s worked on as many as 28 grants at one time for the organization, which is headquartered at The Center for Rural Development.
“She has a lot of credentials,” said Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler, who recommended King to the council.
The council in April approved an ordinance that amended the city’s pay and classification to include the non-elected position of CFO, with a minimum yearly pay rate set at $65,000, an average at $75,000, and a maximum at $90,000.
King, a mother of two, said she’ll help the city streamline its financial services and prepare a satisfactory report yearly for auditors. Girdler said auditors have suggested to the city for the last several years that the city retain a financial officer to help better deal with its complex $77 million yearly budget.
“I’ll give you 110 percent and I’ll try to make sure you have no findings and no suggestions on your audits,” King told the council. “(If there’s a problem) we will take care of that before it gets to audit time.”
King will take her duties over in June.
“ ... The times are changing,” said Girdler. “Federal grants are reducing, the state doesn’t have any money, it’s leaving it up to the communities ... we’re going to have to be more efficient and keep on top of things, and also make sure city council is aware of financial stuff they need to be aware of in order to make decisions.”
King said she’ll make sure the council receives financial information efficiently.
“It’s important that you get your financial information accurately and quickly,” King said.