The addition of Matt Michaelis to the City of Gridley as Finance Director in April 2014 brought not only a wealth of knowledge but it also meant a renewed hope for the city's financial picture.
It was Michaelis who spearheaded the vast two year fix to the City's crippling budget when furloughs were taken and each department took major hits to keep afloat.
As reported in the July 3, 2015 Gridley Herald, "City staff had been asked to reduce the $866,000 budget deficit with cutbacks to each department as follows: Police $335,191; Fire $139,720; Streets $25,102; Recreation $30,194; Building $30,384; Parks $20,189; Planning $14,827; Administration $15,369; Finance $8,845; City Council $7,840 and Engineering $6,339."
Michaelis and his wife Autumn have five boys and live in Yuba City. Michaelis leaves Gridley Friday to become the Deputy County Administrator for Sutter County where he will manage the $300 million budget.
Michaeli stated in a letter to Council members, "The city has overcome great financial challenges in recent years, and we have now a new significant challenge in the electric and water funds. Fortunately, we are in excellent hands with Paul (Paul Eckert, City Administrator). It has been a pleasure to work with him and learn from his strategic thinking and interpersonal skills. I've appreciated the positive leadership and tireless passion he radiates. I have also thoroughly enjoyed working with the dedicated department heads and staff of the City of Gridley and the challenges we have worked through in the past three years. The citizens of Gridley are in good hands.
"I have greatly enjoyed serving the City these past three years as Finance Director. The position has been challenging and rewarding. As a result, I have grown significantly, both professionally and personally. It has been a pleasure working with you and the dedicated staff of the City of Gridley."
Chief of Police Dean Price stated, "Matt handled the closing of the Department of Energy grant and implementing business and financial practices that ensured we met the independent audit standards and controls. Matt was a great partner to all Department heads in resolving the financial hardship for Gridley while still respecting the needs of each department's function. Matt will be very successful in all he does."
Eckert expressed his gratitude for Michaelis during Monday night's Council meeting stating, "Matt came to us when there was quite a backlog in the finance department, a significant task to be done. He worked with staff and accomplished many things in particular during the General Fund crisis. Matt worked with Chief Price when he served as Interim City Administrator and they worked through a lot of things we may not have otherwise recognized. When our auditors come now they have a real appreciation and come in confidence with Matt here."
On Thursday, Eckert stated, "“Matt was able to significantly improve our financial reporting systems and overall accountability during his time with the City of Gridley. Working with the City Council, Matt restored the City’s overall fiscal condition, helping to avoid significant hardships to our residents and operating Departments. His strong professional reputation within municipal financial communities has helped to restore Gridley’s image.”