New finance director to step down (December 27, 2010)

Marc Puckett, the city’s newly-hired finance director, has decided to step down after a very short term to return to his family in Southern California.

Puckett took over as head of the finance department for interim finance director Sandra Sato in early November. Puckett previously worked for 10 years as finance director for the city of Costa Mesa, and also worked in various city management positions in Michigan for 25 years.

Puckett said he is leaving for family reasons and will soon return home to Southern California, according to City Manager John Brown. His last day with the city will be Jan. 7.

It came down to him putting his family first. I understand that and I respect that, said Brown, who said he could not elaborate on Puckett’s decision.

I’m pretty disappointed, said Brown. He has a tremendous amount of skill. All the work he did so far was top drawer.

Brown said that he has begun to recruit candidates to replace Puckett, who had received various awards for his finance work. Brown said he is aiming to hire an interim director within the next two weeks, after which the recruitment process for a permanent hire will begin.

In the event that there needs to be some overlap (after Puckett leaves and an interim director is hired), I’ve got good people in that department that have self-direction, he said.

The city has budgeted nearly $140,000 plus benefits for the finance director position.

Brown said that he was happy with Puckett’s work and that Puckett’s decision to leave was not work-related.

Marc will complete work on outstanding big-ticket items in the days he has remaining, said Brown in the e-mail. A five-year outlook on the city’s financial sustainability is scheduled to be presented to the City Council on Jan. 3.

Source: Argus-Courier Staff, Argus-Courier (Petaluma, CA)