By Raquel Hendrickson
The Finance Department at Maricopa City Hall is looking for a new head.
Brian Ritschel, who received a certificate of recognition for Budget Preparation in June, resigned to take a job with the City of Mesa in July. He is now that city’s deputy director of the Management & Budget Department.
Maricopa posted the financial services director position on Aug. 4.
Ritschel gave two weeks’ notice, City Manager Gregory Rose said, allowing the city time to use its contract with Interim Public Management to find a temporary replacement. Mesa certified public accountant Kent Brooksby came on board so quickly, he still had about a week to work with Ritschel.
Brooksby has been serving as Maricopa’s interim finance director since July 21. He has bachelor’s degrees in accounting from Arizona State University and psychology from Brigham Young University and a master of education degree – counseling and guidance from BYU.
Brooksby was the finance director for Pinetop-Lakeside for nearly 15 years and was the interim finance director for Paradise Valley the past seven months. The founder of the nonprofit Blue Ridge Education Foundation, he calls himself a “good communicator, both verbal and written.”
He has a three-month contract with an option to extend. If a permanent director is found before the contract is up, it can be ended with a 30-day notice, Rose said.
“The Finance Department is so critical,” Rose said. “It’s wonderful to have that contract with Interim Public Management and be able to move quickly with his replacement.”
Rose said he was grateful Ritschel waited to make his decision until after the budget process was complete. “I enjoyed working with him and think very highly of him,” Rose said.
The finance director’s responsibilities include the budget, payroll and purchasing. The minimum qualification is a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance. The preferred qualifications are a master’s degree in accounting and CPA certification.
The listed salary range is $93,864-$128,703 per year.
“We’ve been very fortunate, when people have left, of picking up high-quality people,” Rose said.
This is the third time the city has had to replace a department head this year.
After the resignation of Micah Miranda in December to work for the City of Chandler, the Economic Development Department has had two interim directors. In the Development Services Department, Martin Scribner was hired to replace Robert Goodhue, who went to work for the City of Peoria.
Rose said while Maricopa draws top-quality employees because of its vicinity to large cities, it is in competition with those cities for staff.
“We have outstanding employees, and they have left for larger organizations and a promotion,” Rose said. “Frustrating, yes, but we are going to continue to try to make it a tough decision for them to leave and to make sure that they are aware their contributions are valued.”