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City Welcomes New City Treasurer

Post Date:12/18/2019 4:37 PM

 

Greenbelt Announces Next City Treasurer

December 11, 2019- The City of Greenbelt, Maryland is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Laura S. Allen as the upcoming City Treasurer.   Ms. Allen brings over 25 years of financial and local government management to Greenbelt. Having held city and town management positions in California and Maryland, Ms. Allen brings experience in  budget preparation and analysis, financial analysis and planning, risk management, collective bargaining, and strategic planning. 

The City Treasurer serves as the Director of Finance and is responsible for the administration of the financial affairs of the City. This includes business and financial planning such as budget development, debt management, accounting revenue collection, vendor payments and payroll.

Ms. Allen started her career as a Senior Management Analyst for the City of Berkeley, California working in both the City Manager’s Office and the Planning and Community Development. She developed and administered the Planning Department’s $10 Million budget and oversaw department activities. On behalf of the City Manager, Ms. Allen monitored five departmental budgets totaling $30 Million, negotiated a state of the art cable television franchise, and managed the citywide project management and performance measurement systems.

Ms. Allen most recently served for six years as the Town Administrator for Berlin, Maryland. There she oversaw 70 employees and a $19.4 Million budget and was recognized as an International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Credentialed Manager. Under her direction, the Town of Berlin completed and implemented its first Strategic Plan and increased tourism and sales by 25-30% as the result of obtaining America’s Coolest Small Town Designation.  She also led the process to acquire a 60-acre blighted industrial plot and redevelop it into a multi-use public space.  Other accomplishments during Ms. Allen’s tenure include cost savings initiatives such as revamping the purchased power process resulting in a 10% reduction in electric utility costs, establishing a vacation buy back policy reducing Town accrual by 20%, consolidating departments and functions saving over $100,000 annually, and initiating financial forecasting as a budgetary planning tool. 

This follows Ms. Allen’s work as Town Manager and Assistant Town Manager of Colma, California where her duties included representing the Town in labor negotiations with employee bargaining groups.  Ms. Allen’s budget and financial planning efforts included establishing ten-year financial plans with long-term strategies for service delivery and aligning the Capital Improvement Plan with long-range forecasting.  Colma’s efforts were recognized by obtaining the Town’s first Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). Ms. Allen also served as Chair of a 31-member municipal shared risk pool. Other accomplishments include establishing a strategic plan, a climate action plan, and an Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plan. In addition, a she also established a water conservation incentive program which supported water conservation and yielded cost savings. 

Greenbelt City Manager Nicole Ard stated, “As a Certified Public Financial Officer, a board member of the international Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), and an ICMA Credentialed Manager, Laura brings a fresh perspective to financial planning. With her risk management, collective bargaining and franchise negotiations experience, as well as her passionate environmental advocacy, Laura is a great fit for our organization. 

Ms. Allen holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Nevada, Reno.  In addition to GFOA and ICMA, Allen is a member of Kiwanis, the Maryland GFOA , and serves as treasurer of the Maryland City/County Management Association. “I’m looking forward to working with City Manager Nicole Ard and her team to address the City Council’s priorities and serve the Greenbelt community,” said Allen.   

Allen replaces City Treasurer, Jeffery Williams, who will retire following a distinguished 30 year career as Accountant (1989), Deputy City Treasurer (1991) and City Treasurer since 1996.   “I thank Jeff Williams for his service. Jeff helped lead the City through extreme financial challenges. Along with my predecessor, Mike McLaughlin, Jeff has worked to navigate those challenges without impacting City services. His work has earned decades of annual awards for financial and budget reporting.” said Ard.

Ms. Allen will start work the week of December 16th ensuring a smooth transition before Williams’ January retirement. The City of Greenbelt is a dynamic, multi-cultural community located about 2 miles from the University of Maryland, 7 miles from Washington, DC, and 27 miles from Baltimore. Greenbelt is unique and known widely as a public cooperative community founded in the New Deal era. Greenbelt is also home to NASA Goddard Flight Center, Greenbelt Metrorail and MARC station, the Federal Courthouse, and the neighboring USDA.  The City operates using the Council-Manager form of government with an apolitical, professional city manager responsible for operations of the $31.7 Million organization, leading over 200 full-time and seasonal employees who provide services to over 21,000 residents.  A Sustainable Maryland certified community, Greenbelt regularly earns environmental honors. Likewise, Greenbelt has consistently been awarded distinguished budget and financial reporting awards for over 30 years.

 

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