City names new top finance official

2011-10-28T16:15:00Z City names new top finance officialSean Scully Napa Valley Register
October 28, 2011 4:15 pm  • 

The city of Calistoga has hired Gloria Leon as its new administrative services director, the city’s chief financial officer.

Leon was most recently the finance and human resources director for the city of Hercules. She handled similar duties to those she will fill in Calistoga, including preparing and monitoring the budget and negotiating with the city’s employee associations.

“Gloria comes highly recommended and has extremely strong budgeting and fiscal control experience,” City Manager Richard Spitler said in a release announcing the hiring. “Her experience and skills will be of great benefit to Calistoga.”

Leon is bilingual in Spanish, and has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in business administration with emphasis in human resources.

Leon replaces former director Bill Mushallo, who left earlier this year to take a position in Petaluma’s city government. The position has been filled temporarily in recent months by former Finance Director David Spilman, who is now a consultant in private practice in Sebastopol. The City Council last week budgeted up to $15,000 for Spilman to continue working with the city to ease the transition for the new permanent director.

Leon’s tenure at Hercules ended in January under a bit of a question mark, according to local media reports. Leon left abruptly just months after being demoted to assistant finance director by the interim city manager after the former city manager left, according to a report in the Hercules Patch news service.

Spitler said he looked into Leon’s background and spoke to both city managers under whom she had worked and pronounced himself “satisfied.” He said her departure was part of a larger pattern of turmoil in city government at the time.

“I think she’s a perfect fit for Calistoga,” Spitler said Tuesday night. “She’s hands-on and we’re a stable community. I’m not worried.”

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