Making sense: Finance director Frank Fields switching careers, honored after 10 years with city

Chico >> As Chico’s Administrative Services Director, one thing Frank Fields wanted to do was make the often dense financial processes of the city understandable to the public.

While leading the finance department, he’s worked on getting more documents online for public access and led a free “Finance 101” workshop to explain the city budget process. He’s been a go-to for the City Council on all things financial and had countless one-on-one conversations with those confused by city monetary decisions, happy to help them understand.

“I don’t think we can err in putting too much out there,” Fields said. “I only think we can err in not putting enough.”

Friday, Dec. 30, will be Fields’s last day with the city before he leaves to pursue a new career in education, as a teacher.

Dec. 20, he was honored by the City Council for more than 10 years of service, first as an accountant, then an accounting manager and most recently as administrative services director, overseeing the financial, human resources and information technology departments.

Stable ground

During a period of financial crisis and deficit, it was Fields’s efforts that brought divided service departments together and contributed to greater transparency and accountability, City Manager Mark Orme said.

The city needed someone people trusted to put the budget together, negotiate with labor unions with accuracy and be up front with the City Council, Orme said. Fields did all of those things well…

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