Muccino resigns amid budget season in Glocester; Replacement could be tough to find

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Former Finance Director Adam Muccino speaks before the Town Council

GLOCESTER – Glocester is looking for a new finance director, not an easy position to fill given the job market right now – and the nature of being a finance director in Rhode Island.

Adam Muccino handed in his resignation, effective Friday, April 21, just weeks before finalization of the town’s budget is due to be voted on. That ballot vote will take place on Tuesday, May 23, after the council has made final decisions on budget items.

Muccino’s resignation letter was concise and to the point, simply stating that it has been an “honor and a privilege” to work for the town, and thanking officials for the opportunity. He was hired in April of 2019.

“I received an opportunity for another position,” said Muccino, who is a Glocester resident. “I am leaving a lot of nice people here.”

Muccino, who previously worked at Bryant University in finance, explained that he has made himself available to the town, despite the fact he no longer works for them. He attended the recent Town Council meeting regarding the finalization of the budget, in case there were any questions.

At that meeting the council approved the appointment of Jane Steere, the current Tax Collector, as an interim deputy finance director until a new director can be found. Compensation will be determined at the next council meeting. The council also approved discussion at the next meeting for possibly hiring Robert Strom, as suggested by Council Vice President Stephen Arnold. Strom is the current finance director for Cranston.

“I spoke with someone with experience,” said Arnold. “It would be good to have someone with fresh eyes on the finances.”

The council agreed that Strom would be paid $50 an hour, the money to be allocated from the contingency fund, although money left over from Muccino’s salary might also be used.

How hard will it be to get a new finance director?

“It will be very hard,” says Jean Fecteau, longtime Glocester town clerk. “It would be great if we could find someone with municipal experience.”

Municipal finance directors must deal with a myriad of paperwork and forms required by the state on a regular basis. Fecteau explained that it is not easy negotiating through all the governmental requirements.

“What has to be reported to the state is unbelievable,” she added. “It is not easy.”

“This job is very difficult,” Councilor Jonathan Burlingame explained at the recent Town Council meeting.

After further discussion, Arnold suggested a further solution would be to remove the task of handling the town’s school finances from the finance director’s description.

“It should be off the plate of the finance director,” he said. “Maybe a part-time position.”

Councilor Walter M.O.Steere III added that in 2004, both tasks were assigned to the finance director.

“It’s become more complex now,” he said. “I think this is a good idea.”

The council agreed to discuss it further at the next meeting and decide how it would effect the Town Charter guidelines.

According to the job description, the finance director is responsible, in collaboration with Town Council and the Budget Board, for creating and administering the town’s budget. The individual administers the town’s financial accounting, record keeping, and reporting functions and systems, as well as the town’s receivables, payables, payroll, and employee benefits plans. The director is the custodian of all municipal funds and oversees tax collection and assessment. The position is responsible for day-to-day operations of the town’s finance office, including the supervision of subordinate office staff, and also supervises the tax assessor and the tax collector.

Salary is another consideration. Fecteau noted that they are looking for the right fit for Glocester in terms of experience and salary. The current position would pay between $81,097 and $106,000, depending on experience and qualifications.

According to the State of Rhode Island Department of Revenue website (2018), town financial planners are paid anywhere from $52,173 in the tiny town of Richmond to $165,436 in Providence, the highest paid. In 2018 Glocester was listed as paying $93,400.

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