Guest Commentary: Good Progress made by City Finance Director Nitish Sharma in One Year Tenure

City Hall

By Bob Fung

Nitish Sharma, the finance director for the City of Davis resigned from his position in October and took the position of Chief Administrative Officer of the Cosumnes Water District.   Mr. Sharma had been hired as finance director in August 2018 and made important progress in improving financial accountability, transparency and stability during his 1 year tenure.    Mr. Sharma was the first financial director that the City of Davis had since Yvonne Quiring retired in early 2015.

Mike Webb, City of Davis Manager had this to say about Mr. Sharma.  “Nitish Sharma served the City of Davis as our Finance Director for just over one year.  Mr. Sharma was an integral part of our leadership team and was a valuable asset both in his technical expertise and in his fresh perspective that he brought to the organization.  During his tenure Mr. Sharma was pivotal in advancing a number of initiatives that had very positive impacts on our budgeting and operational efficiencies.  Examples of projects that Nitish and his team accomplished during his tenure were: transitioning to a biennial budget, incorporation of the SCIP Financing tool to help advance economic development projects, adoption of a variety of internal policy and procedure updates, completing the Redevelopment Agency bond refinancing, and advancing the process to replace our Enterprise Resource Program (ERP) which serves as the backbone of our financial systems.  Nitish will be missed and we wish him the very best in his future endeavors.” 

Matt Williams who was Chair of the Finance and Budget Commission during most of Mr. Sharma’s tenure had this comment:  “From my perspective as Chair of the Finance and Budget Commission, it is very clear that in a year, Nitish accomplished a lot.  His solutions produced  substantial change, and significantly increased accountability.  I consistently heard from City employees and citizens that they appreciated the end result, even if the journey wasn’t always easy.  The City will miss Nitish’s financial vision and leadership.” 

The City of Davis is currently looking for a new finance director and would like to encourage anyone interested to visit and share the City’s recruitment webpage for the open position.

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
Sign up for

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

Related posts


  1. Matt Williams

    Thanks to Bob for letting the public know about this change that has thus far flown way below the radar.  When you are lucky enough to add a star to your team, it is a really good idea to nurture that star and ensure they are with you for a very long time.  Unfortunately that did not happen in the case of Nitish.  Let’s hope that the next person the City hires will have a similar level of financial vision and commitment to accountability that Nitish had/has.

    One of the important accomplishments not mentioned above is Nitish’s work with the FGinance and Budget Commission to establish and share the following set of Fiscal Cornerstones for the City.

    1.   Ensure Adequate Funding to meet required service levels

    ___ a. Promote economic development appropriate to the community;
    ___ b. Secure grant opportunities and expand the use of local funds;
    ___ c. Invest excess funds over current reserve balance to address unfunded needs or create capacity or opportunities; and
    ___ d. Seek new revenue to continue to fund aging infrastructure needs.

    2.   Cost Containment: Making efficient use of existing tax dollars

    ___ a. Continue to implement efficiencies and innovations to reduce operating costs;
    ___ b. Continue to look for opportunities to reduce or limit the increase in the City’s long-term obligations (labor costs, including pension and other-post employment benefits);
    ___ c. Continue to monitor and look for opportunities to reduce spending by departments through reorganization or review of the cost allocation plan for general city services to ensure sufficient revenues are generated to reduce the burden on the General Fund; and
    ___ d. Invest in employee professional training to better utilize technology to create efficiencies and innovation.

    3.   Build and maintain a prudent reserve fund balance

    ___ a. Review and evaluate the current reserve policy and return to the City Council with any recommendations for adjustments to ensure adequate funding for emergencies or economic downturns; and
    ___ b. Set reserve requirements for the utility funds consistent with the costs of service study used to develop the rate structures.

    4.   Foster a climate of sincerity, transparency, and accountability

    ___ a. Enhance customer service, using metrics when possible, to ensure funds are allocated and spent accordingly;
    ___ b. Enhance and promote open data and use results to communicate to Council and citizens on financial matters; and
    ___ c. Promote accountability of the allocation of resources.

  2. Bill Marshall

    Chief Administrative Officer of the Cosumnes Water District.

    Actually that would be “Cosumnes Community Services District”…

    Unclear why he chose to leave after ~ 14 months [and, frankly (although I’m not), none of our business]… but I may be the “outlier”… spent 2.5 years with first employer, but saw no paths (small agency, little turnover) to affording a home in the Bay Area; then 32+ years with my second employer… I never understood ‘job-hopping’… neither did my Dad, or his Dad… might be a genetic ‘defect’…

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
Sign up for