by: CITY OF SHERWOOD - Julie BlumsJulie Blums, currently the city’s interim finance director, has been hired as Sherwood’s new finance director.

Blums has served as interim finance director since July 1 following the resignation of Craig Gibons who left to take a finance position with Multnomah County.

"We are excited to have Julie join our senior management team," said City Manager Joe Gall. "Her 20 years of private and public finance experience, education and technical knowledge as well as her leadership skills, were are all key factors in making this decision. I am confident that she will be a great asset to this organization and our community."

The position is the highest financial position within the city, responsible for Sherwood’s overall financial policies, strategies, planning and forecasts. Blums was selected from a pool of 27 applicants. That number was pared down to four finalists with one dropping out at the last minute, said Gall.

Final interviews were conducted before the city’s leadership team as well as the finance director for the city of Tigard, said Gall.

Blums has worked for the city’s finance department since 2006. Prior to that, she worked as an accounting manager with the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System (commonly referred to as PERS), and at Key Bank as well.

She holds a bachelor's of accountancy degree from the University of Phoenix where she graduated with honors. In addition, she recently completed the requirements to become a certified municipal finance officer through the Oregon Municipal Finance Officers Association, and will receive her certification at their spring conference next year.

During the recent city budget process, some residents testified during public hearings about concerns that the former finance director was not a certified public accountant. However, Gall said his research found that few neighboring municipalities require such a certification.

“The only city that requires it… is Tualatin,” said Gall.

Beaverton, Hillsboro, Lake Oswego, Wilsonville, West Linn, Tigard and other cities informed Gall that while they would prefer their accountants be CPAs, it's not a requirement.

In the 20 cities he contacted (six did not return his requests for information), 13 told him they did require finance directors to have a CPA certification. However, of the finance directors in those cities, seven were CPAs while six were not.

While Oregon City officials said they would typically require a CPA, a master’s of business administration could be used as a substitute.

“I understand people’s concerns but this is not unusual,” said Gall, adding that he believes the Oregon Municipal Finance Officers Association certification “has much more value to me than having a CPA.”

“I’m raring to go,” Blums, an 11-year resident of Sherwood, said of her new position. “I’m one of those people who always knew what they wanted to do.”

“I think she’s going to do a great job,” Gall added.

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