MAYOR DOMENIC J. SARNO APPOINTS LEE C. ERDMANN AS CITY’S FIRST CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE AND FINANCIAL OFFICER
January 12, 2010 - Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and members of the Chief Administrative and Financial Officer (CAFO) Screening Committee announced today that Lee C. Erdmann has been chosen to become the City’s first Chief Administrative and Financial Officer. Erdmann will replace former Financial Control Board Executive Director Stephen P. Lisauskas, who has been serving as acting CAFO during the search process since his appointment by Mayor Sarno in July 2009. Lisauskas is expected to continue working for the City for a period of time to allow for a smooth transition.
Erdmann possesses over 30 years of combined city management, administrative and budget experience. His previous employment experience includes serving as Management and Budget Director for the City of Hartford (March 1979 – May 1982), Assistant City Manager, Management and Budget (May 1982 – July 1985), and Assistant City Manager, Administrative Services (July 1985 – January 1987). He served as Town Manager of Wethersfield, Connecticut from January 1987 – August 2002. Erdmann later returned to the City of Hartford, Connecticut serving as City Manager (September 2002 – December 2003) until he was named Hartford’s Chief Operating Officer (January 2004 – July 2009) where he coordinated administrative affairs including a full and part-time staff of approximately 1600 employees and a combined city and school budget in excess of $700 million.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated he is “pleased to have this opportunity to name such a talented and multifaceted professional to the CAFO position.” “I look forward to working with Lee and continuing to move our City forward in a positive direction and ensuring that the City continues to be managed with appropriate fiscal management,” said Sarno. “The CAFO position provides efficiencies and oversight of the City’s finances and this is especially important when the City is facing difficult financial times,” added Sarno.
As Chief Administrative and Financial Officer, Erdmann will coordinate, administer and supervise all financial services and activities. Additionally, Erdmann will be responsible for implementing and maintaining uniform systems, controls, and procedures in all departments, including the school department, boards, commissions, agencies or other units of City government operations which have a financial impact upon the general fund and enterprise funds of the City. Erdmann will report directly to the Mayor.
In addition to his professional work experience, Erdmann is a member of the International City/County Management Association, Connecticut Town and City Management Association and the American Society for Public Administration. He was awarded the Wethersfield Business and Civic Association Person of the Year Award (1999), the Leadership Greater Hartford Polaris Award (2004), and the Community Leadership Association’s Distinguished Leader Award (2006).
Erdmann has served in the United States Military (November 1973 – August 1986), including service in the United States Army, Connecticut National Guard and as a Civil Affairs Officer and Individual Ready Reserve Captain. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from the University of Connecticut and has a Masters of Public Administration degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
In March 2009, Mayor Sarno had appointed Steven F. Bradley, Helen R. Caulton-Harris, Mary Ellen Scott and Stephen R. Valenti, CPA to serve on the CAFO Screening Committee. Mayor Sarno’s appointees were joined by City Council appointee Tim Rooke and School Committee appointee Michael Rodgers. The State’s Department of Administration and Finance appointed Pam Kocher as the state’s appointee.
Mayor Sarno stated that he is “incredibly thankful to all the committee members for their hard work and commitment to the screening process.” “Individually, each member demonstrated an ongoing commitment to the City of Springfield and collectively, their broad range of skills, experience and expertise assure me that you have allowed me to choose the best candidate for this position,” said Sarno.
The Edward J. Collins, Jr., Center for Public Management at UMass Boston assisted the screening committee in carrying out a nationwide recruitment for potential candidates for the CAFO position and supported the screening committee’s decision making process. Twenty-four (24) candidates had submitted applications for the CAFO position and five (5) candidates were invited to interviews. Each interview lasted between 1 and 1 ½ hours with time between interviews for committee discussions. All members of the committee were actively engaged in vetting each candidate
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated that “the Collins Center provided first rate recruitment assistance to the City and we would not have had the pool of candidates to choose from were it not for their diligent efforts.”
CAFO Screening Committee Chairman Steven Bradley stated that “Erdmann has over 30 years of progressively challenging municipal government experience that has prepared him to become the City of Springfield’s first Chief Administrative and Financial Officer.” “I am confident that the CAFO Screening Committee has met its objectives to conduct the screening process in a non-political and professional manner that engenders the confidence of the residents of Springfield, businesses located in the City, the Secretary of Administration and Finance and the tax payers of the Commonwealth,” added Bradley.
The CAFO position was created by state statute to ensure that the progress made under the Springfield Financial Control Board would be maintained and that the City could, on its own, move forward on a path of continuous improvement. The position is structured to directly oversee the City’s financial functions and to serve as the principal city management advisor to the Mayor.
Erdmann will begin his employment with the City on January 13, 2010. He will earn an annual salary of $150,000.