Candy Residence Finance Director strikes submit to Lebanon

By Benny Westcott

Candy Residence Finance Director Brandon Neish can be leaving his workplace Friday, July 29. Nevertheless, he’s merely leaping into the identical place, this time within the metropolis of Lebanon.

He replaces Matthew Apken, who resigned in Might after 4 and a half years. Neish reviews for work Monday, Aug. 1.

“It’s transfer for me,” he stated of the change. “Will probably be good for me and my household. I’ll be nearer to residence and may get residence at a extra common hour. There’s numerous good within the transition.”

Neish and his spouse Samantha dwell in Millersburg with their two youngsters, 4-year-old Lucas and 1-year-old Emily.

He referred to as his resignation “a brand new alternative, and offers new management right here, each time that’s chosen, an opportunity to type of begin contemporary.”

Looking forward to his new environs, Neish famous that Lebanon “is definitely a little bit greater. They’ve their very own distinctive set of challenges. They’re rising rapidly. And I believe that expanded position offers me an opportunity to additional my development in my profession and have the ability to assist one other group transfer ahead.”

Recalling his 4 and a half years with Candy Residence (he joined the workers in January 2018), he stated, “We’ve completed rather a lot inside finance and throughout town. We’ve upgraded numerous gear, funded a brand new metropolis corridor, secured funding for the wastewater remedy plant and embraced know-how that was not right here earlier than. I’m happy with the accomplishments that town has accomplished within the time that I’ve been right here.”

He was most happy with the brand new Metropolis Corridor constructed throughout his tenure. It opened in 2019.

“A whole lot of the preliminary legwork so far as securing the constructing itself and the property was finished earlier than I received right here, however we did numerous work to safe funding for it that didn’t require further tax to taxpayers,” he stated. “We put numerous know-how on this constructing that has been tremendous helpful, particularly when COVID hit, and we have been then capable of get our conferences on-line. That’s one thing that I believe was unheard-of on the town, for this group, anyway. I believe this constructing displays numerous what I attempted to perform right here in a single area.”

The town underwent loads of different modifications throughout his time, as did his division. One among its greatest was its transfer to a paperless workplace. Invoicing is now accomplished by way of the pc system, the place it’s available and accessible to workers and auditors.

“I believe that was an enormous accomplishment,” he stated. “A whole lot of finance continues to be paper-driven, so now we have loved that paperless surroundings. It’s minimize down on our information rather a lot, and auditors have been happy with the power to simply hop into the system and discover the info that they want. Actually, what we tried to do in my time was embrace the know-how that now we have, and I believe we did a fairly bang-up job of that.”

That know-how included a brand new digital finances e book software launched in 2019, which allowed group members entry to the info they wished or wanted.

“A finances e book every year is a 300-plus-page doc, and I believe we actually tried to make it simple to seek out data,” Neish stated. “Making an attempt to provide the group further methods to get data was an enormous deal.”

Alongside together with his direct accountability for Candy Residence’s finance division and municipal courtroom, he wore quite a lot of different hats. Neish additionally dealt with, in an “off-the-books” sense, a number of the metropolis’s data know-how work for some time and took on a number of human-resource features as a “generalist,” maintaining with varied authorized implications and questions from supervisors.

“I consider all of the issues I’m trying ahead to, the largest one is that I get to refocus and really do what I wished to do with my profession,” he stated of the transition to Lebanon. “One of many issues that I believe I’m going to get pleasure from about Lebanon is that I’m going to have the ability to concentrate on what I’m employed for. In a small group [like the city of Sweet Home], if you’d like the place to succeed, you do should put the whole lot into it. And generally it turns into greater than a full-time job. And I believe that it burns lots of people out rapidly. So going to Lebanon, that’s one thing I’m going to strive to bear in mind, to assist with my longevity, and to assist with my household and town as effectively.”

Neish expects the brand new job to be barely totally different.

“With an even bigger group you definitely have further assets,” he stated. “I’ll have the ability to dedicate my focus to finance. In a small group, you don’t essentially get that potential. You put on numerous hats, and at instances you’re getting pulled in numerous totally different instructions.”

Neish grew up in Beaverton, graduating from Sundown Excessive Faculty in 2006. He earned his bachelor’s diploma in enterprise accounting at Western Oregon College in 2011, then labored for the varsity in varied capacities and pursued a grasp’s diploma in public affairs with an emphasis in native authorities at Portland State College. He was workplace coordinator within the WOU pupil authorities workplace, then moved to the finances and payroll workplace, the place he labored for 5 years earlier than coming to Candy Residence.

“After I first began, I didn’t have numerous expertise within the municipal world,” Neish stated. “There’s numerous variations in it in comparison with larger schooling. I believe that a number of the finances instruments and the native finances legislation that I grabbed alongside the best way is stuff that’s going to be tremendous helpful the place I’m headed.”

He loved the transition from working for a college to managing in municipal authorities.

“Being a public finance director is numerous enjoyable for me as a result of I really feel like I get to influence the lives of many,” he stated. “Authorities finance is a peculiar animal, so to talk. I prefer to satisfaction myself in open, clear communication and dealing with people to reply their questions on the place their {dollars} are going or why sure choices are made. I like to actually give group members an opportunity to have a say.

“One of many strongest issues that I’ll have the ability to deliver is that I’m a planner and a forecaster,” he continued. “I don’t have a crystal ball essentially, however you should use numerous historic pattern and data to construct out what the longer term would possibly appear to be, to attempt to keep away from a number of the pitfalls and plan for that future.”

He felt being a finance director is equal components working with folks and numbers.

“I’m a personable finance director, so to talk,” he stated. “That’s to not say that finance administrators aren’t good or pleasant, however some people are actually centered on the numbers, and I believe that I’ve a capability to actually have interaction with, perceive and relate to folks whereas specializing in numbers and forecasts.”

Whereas he hasn’t but had time to dive into Lebanon work, Neish famous that he wished to see his Candy Residence successor assist town make important progress on wastewater remedy plant upgrades.

“We’ve spent a lot time on that and numerous vitality, and I’d like to see it come to fruition lastly,” he stated, including that Candy Residence was “poised for lots of development and improvement, and I believe that the group is prepared for it. I’m trying ahead to seeing how this metropolis strikes ahead over the following few years.

“Everyone right here cares rather a lot. I believe all people is on this to actually make the group higher, all the best way from the council right down to the line-level workers. The dedication and the main target to make this a greater place for residents and guests is astounding. It was a pleasure and an honor to get to see that unfold and work with them.”

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