I want to recognize Morro Bay City’s Finance Director Jen Callaway, who is leaving the City October 23 to take a City Manager position in Truckee. Jen’s leaving is our loss and their gain.
Under Jen and City Manager Scott Collins, the City has followed a prudent and strategically smart plan to shore up our finances during a very difficult period. They built our reserve funds above the recommended level, which put us in a better position to weather the financial storm caused by COVID-19.
When the COVID storm descended, the City was prepared with a financial plan to cut costs immediately. Alone among cities in the county, Morro Bay staff including Jen took a cut in pay. Part time staff were laid off and some services were paused or cut without losing our 24/7 locally-controlled public safety and emergency medical services.
During Jen’s tenure, the finance division won the Government Finance Officers Association Award for Excellence two years in a row for its solid strategy and performance. She also set up the Open Gov portal, which makes the City’s finances transparent and easily accessed online.
I hope that Morro Bay Measure E-20 to increase the sales tax by 1% passes so the next finance director will not have to continue cutting services, including police and fire. But I know that whatever happens, our financial house is prepared as well as it can be thanks to Jen and Scott.