Finance Director – City of Merrill

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    Misty Dodge


    JOB TITLE: Finance Director
    STATUS: Exempt
    REPORTS TO: City Administrator designee, Mayor, Council
    DATE: July 2023

    Position Summary:

    This position is the City’s Chief Financial Officer and is responsible for controlling the finances of the City, preparing and monitoring the budget, and assisting with development/redevelopment efforts in the City. The Finance Director advises the Common Council and City employees regarding finances, grant applications and fiscal reporting, and financial policy. This position has a high degree of discretionary authority within established policies, ordinances and statutes.

    Principal Duties and Responsibilities:

    1. Carries out directives of the Mayor and Common Council, through the City Administrator, and reports the results of the directives to the appropriate governing body.

    2. Establishes financial policies and procedures to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of City government according to current practices in local government, consistent with State Statutes or directives of the Mayor and Common Council. Assists the City Administrator and Department Heads with preparation of the City, Tax Incremental District (TID), and Utility Budgets and Capital Improvement Plan.

    3. Determines the need for new General Ledger accounts, provides codes for revenues and expenses, processes journal entries impacting the General Ledger as they relate to Payroll, Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable. Establish new funds as Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) are created by Common Council or in consultation with City Auditor if necessary for fiscal accounting or State of Wisconsin requirements.

    4. Responsible for investment of City and utility revenues and oversight of daily cash flow management.

    5. Responsible for oversight of cash receipting (by various City departments) of over $20 million in annual property taxes, tax incremental financing revenues, intergovernmental aids/reimbursements, utility bills, licenses & permits, fines & forfeitures, public charges for services, investment income, borrowed proceeds, and other miscellaneous revenues.

    6. Coordinates new borrowing with City’s independent financial advisor and Bond Counsel.

    7. Attends, upon request, meetings of boards, commissions and committees of the City. Serves as ex-officio non-voting member of the Personnel and Finance Committee.

    8. Reviews and stays updated on current Federal, State and County legislation and administrative rules affecting the City finances, and submits appropriate reports and recommendations thereon to the Common Council.

    9. Responsible for timely financial reporting to State agencies for Tax Incremental Finance Worksheet, State Levy Limits, Tax Levy, Expenditure Restraint Program, Room Tax, Video Provider, and Safe Water Drinking Loan Program (SWDLP).

    10. Monitors the availability of Federal, State and County funds for local programs.

    11. Works closely with the City Administrator, Mayor, Council, Redevelopment Authority, City Plan Commission and consultants on the City’s development/redevelopment programs.

    12. Manages the City’s TID/TIF programs

    13. Assists department heads and the Common Council in obtaining grant funds and fiscal reporting under the direction of the Mayor and Common Council.

    14. Prepares and maintains specialized spreadsheets for tracking, audit, and reconciliation purposes.

    15. Assists the City Clerk with review of assessment information and annual property tax calculation.

    16. Attends all meetings of the Common Council, unless excused by the Mayor, and assists the Mayor and Common Council as required in the performance of their duties.

    17. Informs the Mayor and Common Council regularly about the activities of the Director of Finance’s office, by written report, at regular meetings of the Personnel and Finance Committee.

    18. Receives directives from the City Administrator in the event that action normally requiring Common Council approval is necessary, in emergency situations, at a time when the Common Council cannot meet.


    1. Fulfills the statutory duties of Treasurer-Comptroller.

    2. Prepares, posts and publishes all official required notices relating to the City budget and City budget proceedings.

    3. Administers the budget as adopted by the Common Council.

    4. Reports regularly to the Common Council on the current fiscal position of the City.

    5. Supervises the accounting system of the City to insure that the system employs methods in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and professional accounting practices and standards.

    6. Develops and implements financial internal control procedures for the handling of funds by all City departments.

    7. Establishes and administers purchasing polices for the City with input from department heads. Must take into consideration emergency and unique department needs which are subject to approval by the Common Council and any limitation contained in the Wisconsin State Statutes in regard to these policies.

    8. Other duties as may be necessary to fulfill the responsibilities of this position.

    Work Relationships and Scope:

    Reports to: City Administrator, Mayor and Council
    Supervises: Treasurer Office staff
    Work Relationships: Works very closely with employees in the same and other departments. Has frequent contact with Common Council members, City staff, taxpayers, vendors, the general public, community and regulatory agencies. Has access to highly confidential information.

    Knowledge, Skills and Abilities, Qualifications Required:

    Education/Experience: Must possess a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, public administration or similar degree from an accredited college or university and 4 years of experience in municipal government finance; or a master’s degree in public administration, finance, business or similar degree from an accredited college or university and 2 years of experience in municipal government finance.

    • Skilled in municipal finance, technology management and personnel;
    • Working knowledge of current accounting practices and methodology;
    • Skilled in training others relating to hardware and software;
    • Ability to deal with complex problems and serve as troubleshooter;
    • Ability to work under pressure;
    • Skilled in mathematic calculations and problems;
    • Ability to speak in front of groups and make effective presentations;
    • Ability to read and understand technical data and information;
    • Ability to command the respect of department personnel and to assign, direct, and supervise their work;
    • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with employees, city officials, vendors, and the general public;
    • Ability to express ideas orally and in writing;
    • Possess good judgment, thoroughness, and dependability.

    Candidates are required to pass physical examination and drug screening once job is offered. Physical examination is paid for by the City. Until physical examination has been conducted and records turned over to the City of Merrill, applicant chosen is not officially hired.

    Working Conditions:

    Job Conditions/Work Location: Work is performed largely in a pleasant office environment with minimal chance for personal injury. Work hours are normally during regular business hours and average at least 40 weekly. Attendance at two regular late afternoon/evening City meetings and additional evening meetings during City budget development process. May be required to travel out of town for education and professional development. Working from home is not an option.

    Physical Requirements: Requires sitting extensively, standing, reaching, talking. Must be able to lift and carry up to 25 lbs. Requires excellent vision and use of keyboard and telephone.

    Equipment Operated: General office equipment including computer, calculator, copy machine, shredder, fax machine, and telephone. Other equipment including scanning equipment and network hardware and software.

    Salary Grade: Starting at Grade 19 on the Non-Union Compensation Plan depending on experience, plus benefits.


    This job description describes the general nature and level of work performed by the employee assigned to this position. It does not state or imply that these are the only duties and responsibilities assigned to the job. The employee may be required to perform other job-related duties as requested by the supervisor. All requirements are subject to change over time, and to possible modification to reasonably accommodate individuals with a disability.

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