UPDATE: City of Wilmington Finance Director steps down; replacement named

The Mayor of Wilmington has named a replacement after the city’s Finance Director resigned this week, saying he wants to pursue other opportunities.

Laura Papas, who was most recenty Deputy Finance Director, has been named Acting Finance Director.  She has been with the city Finance Department for 32 years and is former Tax Manager and Revenue Manager.  Jim O’Donnell, who has also been with the city for more than three decades, becomes Acting Deputy Finance Director.

“Laura and Jim are both skilled and dedicated employees who know their department and their employees very well,” Mayor James Baker said.  “I am so pleased that they have accepted my request to lead the department—positions which bring new and important responsibilities. I asked them to serve because I know them to be skilled managers, but most importantly, I know they are good people. I am proud of them and their past accomplishments with the Finance Department in service to the citizens of our city.”

James Jones, who stepped down this week, had been appointed Finance Director in October, 2009. 

In a resignation letter to Wilmington Mayor James Baker Chief of Staff Bill Montgomery, Jones said he “had the pleasure to work with some of the finest financial officers, appointed officials and elected officials throughout the state” since transitioning from the private sector to the city in 2006.  During that time, Jones said the city had managed to bring in an additional $100 million, and through improved collection methods has been able to add over $20 million a year to city revenues, boosting revenues to a potential $200 million over the next decade. 

Jones also said he was hopeful city leadership could keep the momentum going.  “It is critical to the City’s financial fortune and it’s expected by our constituencies,” Jones said.  “We can ‘maintain’ the course we’re on and harvest the $200 million I’ve mentioned, or we can advance an aggressive leadership and even grow that amount. However, it will require a leadership-driven administration to assure success.”

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