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A great job by Jim Tarte


Last updated 11/10/2011 at Noon

Dear Jim,

On behalf of the citizens or stakeholders of Edmonds, I want to thank you for the exemplary service you have provided to our staff and City Council Members during your short 7-month tenure as Interim Finance Director.

As you are aware, I have spent my entire career working with numbers.

In 1974, I received a full scholastic college scholarship from an Oregon bank because of my leadership skills and financial acumen. I spent over a decade in the banking sector and then was asked to join the regulatory arm of the government that evaluated thrifts.

I spent years regulating and cleaning up the savings and loan debacle by writing reports to promote healthy banks or investigative reports to close grossly mismanaged banks and prosecute individuals and certified public accountants.

After the break-up of the Soviet Union, I was asked to join KPMG-Peat Marwick to help restructure the regulatory system in Lithuania (and later Kazakhstan).

I crafted policies and procedures to promote open government and financial transparency within the banking sector.

I have worked with thousands of individuals, seen many interesting scenarios, and been part of many fascinating stories.

You, Mr. Jim Tarte, will stand out as one of those star individuals who has made a huge differences in helping society.

Your dedication to move the City’s financial area forward in the areas of open government and municipal financial transparency proves your effectiveness as a communicative leader and team player.

Your habit of concentrating on relevant facts and activities to ensure proactive measures are in place was paramount as you worked your way through example after example of municipal reports.

Of course, these skills in addition to working closely with staff and the Finance Committee led us to financial statements that are more transparent and citizen-friendly (and eventually all numbers will visually reconcile).

As a member of the Finance Committee, our meetings became very productive and you sought to understand our concerns regarding reporting and accounting methods consistent with standards found throughout the industry.

Once you understood my concerns and reviewed my research, you took the time to bring the terminology and issues to understandable terms so that other “non-number minded” individuals could understand.

This communication skill has been grossly missing from the City of Edmonds for years as the excuse was “this is how we always did it”.

Your trend analyses coupled with spending time with each of our department heads to understand the budgetary process provided us with a comprehensive 2012 budget that has very few flaws.

You listened and then provided empirical data which led to thoughtful decisions and I am sure you helped each department understand this tedious process.

I have been around “number’s people” all my life; I have thoroughly enjoyed your lively demeanor, witty sense of humor and infectious laugh.

I wish you the best and you may use me as a reference as you are a highly effective financially knowledgeable individual that truly leads by example.

It was a pleasure to get to know you and work with you.

Happy Trails, Jim Tarte, thank you kindly for your hard work.

Diane Buckshnis

City Council Position #4


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