Friday, July 10, 2009

Santa Barbara Finance Director Bob Peirson leaving his position : Departure comes after 20 years of public service


July 10, 2009 7:12 AM

City Finance Director Bob Peirson is leaving his position after more than 20 years in Santa Barbara public service because he wants to do something new, he told the News-Press Thursday.

Mr. Peirson said he has mixed emotions about leaving his post.

"I'm excited about pursuing fresh challenges," he said, "but there's sadness in leaving the family I've worked with here."

He said the decision to leave was not an easy one.

"It's not a decision you make overnight," he said. "I wanted to get through the city budget's adoption, which was on June 23. After that I focused my mind on the future."

Mr. Peirson's immediate plans include vacationing in such places as Spain and Morocco.

Recently, Mr. Peirson worked through the International City/County Management Association with the World Bank in Washington, D.C., to provide financial management training to local government finance officials from the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. He hopes to participate in this type of work in the future.

"I'm certainly hoping to do some of that," he said.

He will officially leave the position he has held since 1995 on August 28.

"I will continue to work to do what's in the best interest of the city until then," he said.

The prospect of leaving Santa Barbara is an emotional one for the long-time finance director.

"I'll miss it all -- the people most of all," he said. "It's been really satisfying to, in some small way, contribute to the city."

He explained that although he made the decision to leave, he has no negative feelings about his employment with the city.

"I've been the luckiest guy in the world," he said. "There wasn't a morning I didn't wake up looking forward to going to work. I still feel that way."

Mr. Peirson first worked for the city as its accounting manager in 1989, and two years later he was made the assistance finance director.

He has achieved a variety of accomplishments in his time in Santa Barbara, including a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting and the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award, both from the Government Finance Officers Association.

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