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Finance Director Robert Peirson to Leave City of Santa Barbara

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  • Robert Peirson Finance Director City of Santa Barbara

SANTA BARBARA, CA – JULY 8, 2009 - After 27 years of public service in California and Alaska, Santa Barbara City Finance Director, Robert Peirson, announced today that he is leaving the City on August 28, 2009.  

“Bob has done an outstanding job over the past 20 years and will be difficult to replace,” said James Armstrong, city administrator.  “He is a top notch chief financial officer with the ability to explain complex financing issues in ways everyone can understand.  Bob has been especially effective over the past year as the City dealt with major revenue shortfalls," added Armstrong.

Peirson hopes to combine his extensive public sector financial management expertise and his desire for travel by providing training in public sector finance internationally.  Peirson recently had an opportunity to work with the International City/County Management Association and the World Bank in Washington, D.C. to provide such training to local government finance officials from the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia 

“The City of Santa Barbara has been very fortunate to have such a high caliber finance professional lead our Finance Department.  Our City Council will miss his expertise and quick wit.  While we’re happy for Bob, we’re sorry to see him go,” said Mayor, Marty Blum.

Peirson began his career with the City of Santa Barbara as Accounting Manager in 1989.  Two years later, he rose to Assistant Finance Director.  Peirson has served as the City’s Finance Director since 1995, the chief financial officer for a full service charter city with an annual operating and capital budget now exceeding $250 million.

Accomplishments under his administration with the City of Santa Barbara include: 

Multiple receipt of "Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial
Reporting" and the “Distinguished Budget Presentation Award” from the Government Finance Officers Association 

Completing over $250 million in financing packages for such projects as the Santa Barbara Airport improvements, the Granada Garage and various water and wastewater projects, among others

Prior to joining the City of Santa Barbara, Peirson spent eight years in Alaska.  He worked for the City of Seward, Alaska, as the Director of Finance and Administrative Services from 1984 to 1988 and as an accountant from 1983 to 1984.  Peirson also worked for the National Bank of Alaska from 1981 to 1983 as the Manager of the Seward Branch. 

Peirson received his Bachelor of Arts in History from Colgate University, Hamilton, New York, and a Master’s of Business Administration from Babson College, Wellesley, Massachusetts. 

Peirson is an avid hockey player and a devoted member of “Red Sox Nation.”  “My departure will allow me to spend more time following the best baseball team in the world,” added Peirson.


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