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News, City Government, City Manager, Santa Monica

City Manager Names City's New Director Of Finance

Posted Jan. 17, 2012, 10:00 am

Mirror Staff

Santa Monica City Manager today named Gigi Decavalles-Hughes as the city’s Director of Finance. She has been serving as Acting Director of Finance since September 2011.

The appointment follows Carol Swindell’s resignation for family reasons.

Gould announced the new appointment with enthusiasm.

“Gigi has proven skill in all aspects of financial management and budgeting," Gould said. "Her strategic thinking has served the City well in maintaining and strengthening the City’s fiscal position. Under Gigi’s leadership, the department will continue to provide the highest level of financial accountability to the Santa Monica community."

Decavalles-Hughes has been intimately involved in all aspects of city financial operations. From October 2009 to September 2011, she was Administrative Services Officer for the Housing and Economic Development Department where she led a team in completion of over $100 million in redevelopment financing through a bank loan and a bond issuance among numerous other financial strategic planning and departmental initiatives.

She also served as Senior Administrative Analyst for the Community and Cultural Services Department where she was responsible for financial forecasts, operating and capital budgets, and for developing financial structures for new programs including the Annenberg Community Beach House.

Gigi served as Budget Manager among other budget positions for the Finance department from February 1997 until May 2001.

During this time, she ably completed preparation of the 2001/2002 budget. Prior to Santa Monica, she worked for Arthur Anderson in Washington DC from July 1994-March 1995 where she led client/consultant teams in process reengineering and organizational restructuring projects, including the commercial lending process at two regional banks, the budgeting process of the AARP, and the accounting and financial reporting process of the Kennedy Center.

She also worked for the Office of the New York City Mayor as Productivity Project Manager from August 1992-July 1994.

"It is an honor to lead the Finance Department and continue the tradition of strong fiscal management that has enabled the City of Santa Monica to maintain its excellent financial standing. I am proud to lead a group of highly talented and dedicated individuals," said Decavalles-Hughes.

Decavalles-Hughes received a Masters in Urban Planning from New York University. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania.

She succeeds the previous Finance Director Carol Swindell who resigned her position as director to relocate to the east coast to care for her mother who is in declining health. Ms. Swindell has agreed to help the City with a few special financial projects over in the next several months.

As Director of Finance, Decavalles will receive a salary of $172,932.

She will be responsible for preparation of an operating budget of over $596 million.

The Department’s operating budget is $25 million with approximately 86 employees. Finance oversees the management of the City’s investment portfolio and preparation of the budget; financial operations including financial reporting, purchasing, payroll, and accounts payable; business and revenue operations; internal audit; and risk management.

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