Departures won’t affect budget, city says

Published 10:43 pm Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Suffolk officials said this week they anticipate no negative effect on the budget development process because of the recent departures of the finance director and the city assessor.

Both resigned their positions last week. City spokeswoman Debbie George said the assessor will complete his role in the process before he leaves and the finance department does not play a role in creating the budget.

Mayor Linda T. Johnson announced Assessor Sid Daughtrey’s resignation Wednesday. Daughtrey is one of four people employed directly by City Council.


Email newsletter signup

Finance Director Dale Walker’s resignation was confirmed Friday.

“I don’t foresee any significant impact,” Councilman Robert Barclay said Tuesday. “The assessor will have completed the work we need to prepare the budget before he leaves. The finance office isn’t essential to completing the budget.”

Daughtrey’s resignation is effective March 4. He will present a report on the assessments at the March 2 City Council meeting.

“He’ll have his new assessment report ready for us, so we’ll have all that information,” Barclay said.

Councilman Charles Parr said he believes the assessments will fall again. They decreased about 4 percent last year.

“It’s going to go down,” Parr said. “We all know that. This economy’s just doing that.”

The Department of Budget and Strategic Planning prepares the budget. Finance is involved with the administration of the budget once it is approved by City Council.

Barclay noted the finance director position had been vacant for more than two years before Walker’s arrival in April 2009. The previous finance director, Christine Ledford, also submitted a sudden resignation, less than two months after an independent audit indicated that a number of city funds showed deficits or no cash at all, among other concerns.

Walker did not return two phone messages left at a home number on Tuesday.

Daughtrey said Wednesday that he was leaving the city voluntarily.

“I’m not retiring, I’m just taking a break,” 55-year-old Daughtrey said. “I just decided it’s a good time to see what else I can do.”

The proposed budget will be presented to City Council on April 6. Council will have work sessions on the budget April 6, 13 and 20, followed by public information meetings on April 25 and 27 and a public hearing on May 4. The budget will be adopted on May 18.