Charlottesville appoints Chris Cullinan director of finance

At its December 1 meeting, Charlottesville City Council appointed Chris Cullinan as Director of Finance for the City of Charlottesville.

Chris Cullinan

After 8 years as Director of Finance, Bernard Wray will retire at the end of 2014. Upon Mr. Wray’s retirement announcement, the City Manager’s Office began the search for his replacement.

The City received 50 applications for the position.  City staff, including representatives from the City Manager’s Office, department directors and Finance office staff participated in interviewing candidates in order to make a recommendation to council. Staff recommended Mr. Cullinan for the position and he met with City Council on November 17.

Mr. Cullinan has over 18 years of financial management experience in the public and private sectors.  He is currently the Acting Chief Financial Officer of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC).   WSSC provides water and wastewater service to over 1.8 million people in the counties of Montgomery and Prince George’s in the state of Maryland.  The Commission has an annual budget of $1.3 billion and a six year capital budget of $4 billion.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Mr Cullinan served as the budget director for the City of Charlottesville.

“I am excited to be rejoining an organization with a history of excellent financial management as evident by its AAA rating,” said Mr. Cullinan.  “I look forward to continuing this tradition and finding ways to continuously improve the City’s finances and services to our citizens and businesses.”

The Finance Department provides comprehensive financial management, accounting and reporting, manages the payroll, procurement and warehouse, utility billing and collection, and the real estate assessment office. In addition, risk management, utility rate determinations for water, wastewater and gas, and debt management functions fall under the purview of the Finance Department, as well as the Disadvantaged Business Enterprises Program.

The Department also provides financial accounting services to the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library and the Charlottesville Industrial Development Authority through a contractual arrangement and other related matters. The Department operates with 40 staff members and a $2.8 million budget, with overall responsibility for the City’s total budget of $150.7 million. In addition, the Director of Finance has co-oversight responsibility for the City’s Retirement System with the City Treasurer.

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