Omaha's city finance director has announced her resignation. Pam Spaccarotella will step down on November 1, 2012. She says the controversy over pay raises to department heads played no part in her decision.
“Pam Spaccarotella has helped this administration achieve monumental changes in city government and it was with a heavy heart that I reluctantly accepted her resignation today,” said Mayor Suttle in a written statement.
When she took the job in 2009, Spaccarotella left the private sector for a city hall salary of $180,000. Mayor Suttle said you had to pay well to get good people from the private sector.
It was a substantial increase over the previous person in the role of finance director and Mayor Suttle was criticized for the move -- especially since the overall budget was in the red.
Spaccarotella gave back $40,000.
Last month, Mayor Suttle admitted he would rollback another round of raises to department heads after the city council criticized him for hiding the figures from the public.
“I would say these plans were in place well before the raises became an issue," said Spaccarotella, in an interview with Channel 6 News. "I'm going to work for myself so it was the ability to have flexibility there."
In a news release from the Mayor's office, Spaccarotella’s accomplishments were outline -- include assisting Mayor Suttle in gaining and retaining the City’s AAA bond rating, as well as implementing efficiencies in all City departments.
She significantly reduced fire department costs, successfully implemented payroll accountability within the Omaha Fire Department as evidenced by the recent State Audit, provided much needed leadership in e-governance initiatives, and developed long term financial strategies for police cameras, cruisers, and street resurfacing efforts.
In addition, Ms. Spaccarotella has automated much of the City of Omaha Finance Department’s processes.
“I want to thank the Mayor and City Council for the tremendous opportunity these past three years," said Spaccarotella "I also want to thank the amazing employees within my department and throughout the city who work tirelessly every day to provide the citizens of Omaha with exceptional service that is second to none. It has been a privilege to work with each and every one of them during these difficult times, and without their efforts such changes would not have been possible.”
Ms. Spaccarotella will leave city government to pursue a new business opportunity in the private sector.