Newly appointed finance director Linda Hamilton said Friday she has two goals when she takes the reins of Salt Lake City's Finance Department.
"The two things that clearly have to be accomplished are to successfully get through the budget process . . . and a critical review of the management audit that's just been completed of the Finance Department," she said.Hamilton, who has served as executive director of the Salt Lake City Council since 1986 and was the governor's budget analyst for the Department of Social Services from 1981 to 1983, was named by Mayor Palmer DePaulis as finance director Friday.
Current finance director Lance Bateman resigned last week, but will remain in office to respond to a management audit of the department. The audit is critical of his office.
Hamilton said she would devote time to examining the audit to determine whether city administration will implement any of its recommendations.
She said she must also oversee the effort to draft the city's more than $230 million budget, now in the middle stages of completion and which must be approved by June 30.
Hamilton said she anticipated no changes in staffing in the finance office. "They have got a good, competent, hard-working staff up there and I look forward to working with them," she said.
Meanwhile, Hamilton said she will be meeting with Council Chairman W.M. "Willie" Stoler to discuss transition plans. "It's not clear now when I'll actually leave."
Stoler said council Budget Analyst Lee King has tentatively been appointed deputy executive director and will serve in Hamilton's place until a new executive director is formally appointed.
The mayor's appointment to the Finance Department is subject to the advice and consent of the City Council. Stoler called the council's approval of Hamilton's appointment only "a formality."