Director dismissed as financial strain continues

By JAMES MITCHELL

Sunday Times Newspapers

TAYLOR — The city’s financial challenges remain critical as officials try to live within the means of a five-year deficit reduction plan, and will be administered by a new budget and finance director.

On Wednesday Mayor Jeffrey Lamarand announced that Jenetta Kregel had been relieved of her post, which she began serving in December 2011.

Lamarand was unavailable for comment prior to press time. Lamarand said in a statement that Richard Eva Jr., a 30-plus year veteran of county and municipal finance experience, had been appointed to the position.

Kregel, a 2004 graduate of University of Michigan-Dearborn, had been a financial analyst before her appointment in Taylor.

Lamarand said that, given the city’s looming fiscal issues, a more experienced finance director was needed.

“(Kregel) entered into the municipal finance field in the midst of some of the most challenging economic times the city has had to endure,” Lamarand’s statement said. “The administration made a strategic effort to identify a replacement with extensive municipal finance experience.”

Eva most recently served as director of budget and finance for Canton Township, and previously with the city of Royal Oak, Wayne County and Ingham County.

The next two years, Lamarand said, will be critical if the city is to avoid returning to a deficit budget or suffer additional reductions. As drafted last year, the city planned to erase about 20 percent of a nearly $5 million deficit.

State officials are monitoring the city’s adherence to that plan, and an audit last month indicated that the goal would be met, although the city was given 30 days to address several questions regarding adjusted figures that were reported, including a few reduced expense projections for police services and the de-

partment of public works. Barring any improvement in revenue streams the possibility remains of additional layoffs.

Lamarand said last month that city council considered a possible millage to avoid staff or service eliminations.

      (James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)

Tags: