It is a time of some turnover for the city of Davis, as the city announced the hire of a finance director for the first time in several years. In the meantime, the city has put out RFPs for a new city attorney, as longtime city attorney, Harriet Steiner, who is contracted through her firm, has announced she will retire, while the city continues to look for a new Community Development Director, after Ashley Feeney left in May to go back to the private sector.
City Manager Mike Webb announced in a press release Wednesday afternoon that he had hired Nitish Sharma as the City’s Finance Director, effective August 27, 2018.
Mr. Sharma has served ten years as a municipal finance officer, most recently for West Sacramento as their budget manager.
The release noted that he has significant experience implementing sound financial procedures and strategies. He is the chapter chair for the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers, Sacramento Valley region.
In the meantime, the city is attempting to fill the position of Community Development Director. Mike Webb told the Vanguard they have some promising candidates and they plan to do their first round of interviews next week.
He said, “Hoping that by the end of October we can have someone aboard.”
In the interim, Heidi Tschudin continues to serve in the interim capacity.
Mr. Webb told the Vanguard, “I want to ensure that we get the right skills and fit.”
While Harriet Steiner has not officially announced she will retire, it is general knowledge that she will and the city, as of July 16, put out an RFP for new legal services.
The RFP closes on August 31.
It indicates: “The City of Davis requests interested full service law firms to submit a Proposal to provide legal services for the City of Davis.”
It notes: “The City’s decision to issue this Request for Proposals is the result of a policy decision to periodically evaluate the legal services it receives from outside counsel. It does not reflect dissatisfaction with the services currently being provided. The City currently contracts with a full-service legal firm for all legal assistance.”
Mike Webb told the Vanguard, “She will be here (within reason) until we secure a contract for services ongoing.”
In the meantime, the position of Finance Director is one for which the Vanguard has for some time identified the need.
Nitish Sharma graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with Accountancy emphasis from the California State University, Sacramento, and is a Certified Public Accountant.
“I am excited Nitish will be joining our City of Davis team. Davis programs and citizens will benefit greatly from his vast experience in fiscal management, advanced accounting, budgeting, and utility rate setting and implementation” said Mayor Brett Lee.
Mr. Sharma will be responsible for managing the City’s Finance Department, which includes 15 full-time staff members, and management of the City and the Capital Improvement Program budgets, accounts payable, business licenses, utility billing, revenue collection, financial reporting, financial planning and liaison to the Finance and Budget Commission.
“Nitish is a strong addition to our management team. He has a tremendous amount of practical operations experience and a proven record of pursuing industry best practices. Moreover, Nitish has technology acumen, a proven commitment to community involvement and an incredible enthusiasm for the work. We are lucky to have Nitish and I look forward to the contributions that he will bring to our team and to our community,” stated City Manager Mike Webb.
“I am excited to join the City of Davis and work alongside the City Manager and other Department Heads to help make sure that the City stays true to the motto of ‘All Things Right and Relevant’ while maintaining fiscal responsibility and transparency” stated Mr. Sharma.
—David M. Greenwald reporting