New Town CFO Starts Nov. 19

Friday, November 9, 2018
By Sue Ellen Woodcock

Getting his grasp on the financial workings of the town, Town Manager Austin Faison has appointed a new chief financial officer.

Anna Freedman, of Medford, will start work in Winthrop on Nov. 19. She comes to Winthrop from the office of Senate President Karen Spilka, where she served as the fiscal policy advisor. Prior to that, Freedman was with the Executive Office for Administration and Finance as the assistant budget director.

“Anna will bring an enthusiastic attitude to the Finance Department. She has played a major role in the creation of the State Budget and has managed large groups of people. She is prepared to become certified as a Treasurer, Collector, and School Business Officer for the town. Within a short period of time, Anna will have all of the professional certifications that are being asked of her,” Faison said in a memo sent to the Town Council.

Freedman holds a degree in political science from Hartwick College and a master’s degree in public administration.

Looking more at the financial picture of the town, Faison recently sat in on a meeting of the Citizen’s Finance Committee where they discussed theories on debt management, fiscal policies, how Faison will be looking at the budget.

Faison is a self-described finance guy. He was charged with putting the budget together for the town of Brookline for the past three years

“Now that I am settling in I’ve been able to go over past budgets,” Faison said. “Now I have time to sift through the weeds and have conversations with department heads around that.”

Faison is hoping that the town council approves a request to for a new budget management from a company called OpenGov. The system takes months of work using Excel and cuts it in half or more. This system doesn’t make it reliant on one person.

“It takes away some of the manual labor,” Faison said.

Faison has been on the job for two and a half months. Since then he’s appointed a new assistant town manager, and a new Director of Public Health, Meredith Hurley, who has worked for the town as a public health nurse and as the nurse at the high school. She started in her new role on Oct. 29.

Freedman replaces former CFO Mike Perez who was with the town for three years.

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