Anna Jatczak resigns as assistant city manager/CFO

How her position will be filled to be determined
By: Carol Percy, Reporter Lincoln News Messenger
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Lincoln Assistant City Manager/CFO Anna Jatczak resigned as of Feb.25, according to Lincoln City Manager Jim Estep.

“She informed me of her decision early last week and I support her in her desire to face new challenges in a new environment,” Estep e-mailed city employees Feb. 25.

Estep said that Jatczak “played an important role in creating a sustainable financial future for Lincoln during critical economic times.”

Jatczak was instrumental in developing the financial forecasting that led to the acknowledgement that the city either needed to reduce expenses or increase revenue, leading to a balanced budget, according to Estep.

“It will be a great loss for Lincoln but a great opportunity for her,” Estep said. “I want to personally thank her for her dedication and hard work.”

Asked by The News Messenger whether he would immediately fill Jatczak’s position, Estep “is evaluating the city’s needs before making that decision.”

Since Jatczak was hired Jan. 4, 2010, staffing and the city’s organizational structure has changed, Estep pointed out.

“In the meantime, our existing staff, along with me and some contractual help will be handling her duties,” Estep said.

Jatczak was hired in the beginning of 2010 at a starting salary of $145,290, with full benefits, according to Estep. Her staff at that time totaled 17. At the time of her resignation, Jatczak drew the same salary but with reduced benefits and her staff had been cut back to 15.

Jatczak has been Lincoln’s only assistant city manager/CFO.

Since Jatczak’s work comprised two positions, that of assistant to the city manager and chief financial officer, Lincoln Mayor Stan Nader questions whether both parts of Jatczak’s job need to be filled.

Although Nader does “not believe” the city needed an assistant city manager, Nader said the finance director position “is currently of great importance” to Lincoln.

“There are many cities much larger than Lincoln who do not have an assistant city manager,” Nader said. “But we need to keep a close eye on how we are spending our monies.”

If the city manager “doesn’t feel that the finance department staff can provide proper oversight,” Nader said, then he “would be comfortable” with Estep filling the finance director position.

Councilman Spencer Short said Jatczak’s departure will definitely leave “a hole in leadership.”

As CFO, Jatczak’s primary charge had been finance administrative services. A chief financial officer is a position that usually requires background in legal or administrative services, according to Short.

The next financial director will be involved with such issues as tax-sharing agreements with the county for new developers and the financial implications of providing services to new development areas, Short added.

“Anna was doing a fantastic job of maintaining low expenses for the department, while also recruiting and building needed expertise in accounting and other services,” Short said.

Short also noted that the city manager’s office is short-staffed and facing future challenges.

“The city manager is down to one full-time department head and he has significant goals to accomplish, based on City Council directives. I think we definitely need a CFO and a new assistant city manager,” Short said.

Some of the council’s directives include a financial model for the regional sewer project, major development projects that require expensive infrastructure, such as Village I, and improvement of current services — police, fire, library and all public services.