O'Fallon's assistant finance director has been promoted to the city's top fiscal position, according to Mayor Gary Graham.
Sandy Evans will take over as finance director, a position held for several years by Dean Rich who has retired.
Evans served as Rich's top deputy for five years and managed the city's budget for the past three years. She has a bachelor's degree in finance from Eastern Illinois University and experience in government and nonprofit finance. Recently, Evans led the electric aggregation initiative that Graham said will save O'Fallon residents 28 percent on their electricity bills.
"Given Sandy's commitment to our community for the past five years, her financial background and excellent leadership skills, Sandy is a perfect fit for the finance director position," Graham said.
City Administrator Walter Denton said Rich, who could not be reached Monday for comment, will be missed greatly by his co-workers.
Rich was responsible for transforming the City of O'Fallon into a modern organization, Denton said. "When Dean arrived in 1997, the City was $1 million in the hole with no financial system. We now have $4 million in working capital reserves, a full accrual accounting system, and professional finance staff.
"Dean oversaw the creation of a standardized accounting and budgeting system as well as leveraging technology for greater efficiency such as the remote water meter readers, Denton said. "O'Fallon has benefited greatly from Dean's public service and we will miss his financial stewardship."
On a personal note, Denton said of Rich: "I will miss his pragmatic advice, common sense, and colorful Tennessee vernacular."
Evans said she knows she has big shoes to fill. But she said she is ready for the challenge.
"I am excited and welcome this opportunity," Evans said. "My five years serving the citizens of O'Fallon as the deputy finance director has been fulfilling and has prepared me to further serve at this high level."
Robin Costello, who was recently hired as an accountant in the Finance Department, will take over Evans' previous responsibilities managing the city budget.