HOQUIAM, Wash. - The City Councils of the City of Hoquiam and Ocean Shores will consider a short-term agreement to provide financial management services to the City of Ocean Shores beginning September 1.
“The resignation of Ocean Shores Finance Director Art Wuerth created the opportunity to consider other methods of delivering essential public services. This partnership is about service collaboration and benefits it can bring to the citizens we serve over the long term,” said Ocean Shores Mayor French. “We believe this relationship would reduce duplication in administration, improve operating efficiency and provide better opportunities for sharing resources. This agreement is crafted to create a win-win situation that benefits citizens in both jurisdictions in a way that is fiscally responsible and fair.”
The City of Hoquiam Finance Department has been a leader in municipal finance. The City has received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officer’s Association and Washington Finance Officer’s Association. Hoquiam also recently had their Investment Policy certified by the Association of Public Treasurers.
Under the agreement, Ocean Shores would pay Hoquiam a monthly fee for service and Hoquiam would assume responsibility for managing Ocean Shores’ Finance Department as well as assisting in the production of the 2011 Budget. All Ocean Shores Finance Department employees will remain employees of Ocean Shores. The agreement would run through the end of 2010.
Department heads and employees from both cities are in support of the partnership and approval of the agreement. The agreement calls for maintaining current staffing levels at the finance departments in Hoquiam and Ocean Shores. However, both departments will be managed by only one Finance Director. Hoquiam Finance Director Mike Folkers was the Finance Director for Ocean Shores from 2002 to 2006 and is intimately familiar with their people, software and processes.
Hoquiam Mayor Jack Durney said citizens and business owners in both Ocean Shores and Hoquiam won’t notice any changes in service delivery when the agreement takes effect on September 1. “When they transact business in either City, they will continue to receive the same high quality service,” he said. “Further, this innovative partnership is an example of local governments finding ways to work together to more efficiently and effectively serve our communities. I am confident that Mayor French and his staff and Mike Folkers and our staff will make this work!”