The city of Allentown will be in the market for a new director of finance.
Finance Director Brent Hartzell is leaving to become Chief Financial Officer for the County of Galveston, Texas. His resignation is effective Friday, February 7.
Galveston County has a population of 335,000 and a General Fund budget of $144.5 million.
Hartzell came to Allentown in October 2015 with vast experience in municipal finance and public policy accumulated during a lengthy career in both the public and private sectors, including a 19-month stint as interim budget director in the city of Detroit. Hartzell had also served as chief of staff and special assistant to the chief financial officer in the U.S Department of Education and as senior government analyst in the office of policy and budget, executive office of the governor in the state of Florida.
“Brent was a very key acquisition at the time,” said Mayor Ray O’Connell. “He came just after the FBI investigation into the contract award process became public. He brought much needed stability to the office. His experience was very important to restoring city council’s confidence in that department.”
O’Connell added, “I will truly miss Brent’s commitment, dedication and loyalty to the city. I wish him much success in Galveston.”
“Since September 2015 I have sought to make the city's finance department a reliable source of financial information and a responsible steward of public funds for the mayor, city council and the residents of Allentown,” Hartzell said. “Thanks to more than 30 finance staff who devote their talents and energies to accomplish these goals on a daily basis, Allentown enters 2020 with a likely second consecutive year of budget surplus, record collection of business privilege taxes, continued clean opinions on city financial statements, a transparent contracting and procurement process, and a reputation for reliable management of taxpayer dollars. I am especially proud of the department's outstanding bureau leadership in achieving these outcomes, and I will miss them all."
Hartzell is a native of Minnesota. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota and a Master of Arts in Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota, Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
It is the job of the director of finance to ensure the financial stability of the city by managing all financial functions in an efficient, cost-effective and responsive manner. The finance department oversees long range strategic financial planning and provides city departments and the public with timely and accurate financial information, while assuring clarity and accountability.