By jeanne starmack
The city’s new finance director is Michael Evanson, who was treasurer in the Struthers School District for 16 years until he retired in December.
Evanson is replacing Sherman Miles, who has had the job since October 2009.
Evanson will begin his duties in the $41,800 post at the city hall Feb. 1.
Mayor Bill VanSuch recommended him from a short list of four candidates to the city council, whose members voted unanimously to appoint him. The council did so at a special meeting Wednesday.
Evanson, of Struthers, also held schools treasurer posts at Strongsville City Schools, Ashtabula Area City Schools and Southern Local Schools in Salineville.
He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Hiram College, a master’s in public administration from Bowling Green State University, a master’s in business administration from Ashland University and a doctor of education from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Also on the short list were a Campbell police detective, a former finance assistant for Youngstown and a bank vice president. Fourteen people in all applied for the job, VanSuch said.
VanSuch said Evanson’s credentials “speak for themselves.”
He said he is especially impressed that Evanson has experience in grant writing, safety management and investment management.
“I’m getting the cream of the crop,” he said.
VanSuch said in December he intended to replace Miles, who had been unable to reconcile the city’s books to monthly bank statements.
The reconciliations were backlogged to April 2010 until a private accountant was paid up to $1,000 to straighten out that month, which has now occurred, VanSuch said.
The unreconciled bank statements were a large part of the reason the city was unable to ask for release from fiscal emergency in December. It will now have to wait at least another year.
The city is expected to have a schedule of when it will complete the reconciliations and when it will correct policy deficiencies in its accounting. The chairwoman of a state commission that oversees the city while it’s in fiscal emergency wants the schedule by the commission’s Feb. 6 meeting.