Grosse Pointe Shores finance officer selected for statewide leadership program

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published August 13, 2019

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GROSSE POINTE SHORES — She’s worked for the city for the last 32 years, but Grosse Pointe Shores Finance Officer/Treasurer Rhonda Ricketts isn’t resting on her laurels.

She’s hoping to be even better able to serve her city, thanks to a relatively new program for which she was chosen.

Out of more than 100 applicants, Ricketts was one of roughly 30 women selected for the Michigan Municipal League’s Women’s Municipal Leadership Program. It’s supported by the Michigan Municipal League Foundation and part of the MML’s 16/50 Project to increase training and the number of women in leadership positions in local government.

The MML states that women account for more than 50% of the population, but only make up 16% of local chief administrative officers.

According to the MML, the Women’s Municipal Leadership Program was launched in 2018 “to give Michigan women training in several areas of municipal management, including municipal budgeting and finance, economic development, and (city) council-manager relations.”

During the July 16 Shores City Council meeting, Ricketts announced that she had been chosen for the program. She said she will be attending daylong workshops one Friday a month in Lansing through December. The first session is slated to take place Aug. 23.

“It’s just more to prepare for possible leadership roles,” Ricketts said after the meeting.

The program is free, thanks to support from donors.

Mayor Ted Kedzierski isn’t surprised that Ricketts was selected for this program, given that she has done “a wonderful job” handling the city’s financial records and working on its audit and budget reports.

“That shows you her general reputation as a finance director among local units of government,” he said after the meeting. “Based on her outstanding record, they deemed her worthy (of this program). We’re very proud of her.”

Ricketts said that last year she took a Leadership Macomb class. She’s looking forward to increasing her skill set further through the MML program.

“This is just going to give me more knowledge,” Ricketts said. “It’s a unique opportunity.”

This is the second time this year that Ricketts has been recognized by her peers. In March, administrators learned that the city had been given the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada.

Ricketts prepared a more detailed budget report for the 2018-19 fiscal year, which can be read online on the city’s website, www.gpshoresmi.gov, by clicking on the Finance option under the Departments tab on the homepage. The report includes Shores history and demographics, a list of the city’s top 10 taxpayers, explanations of how property taxes work in Michigan, explanations of various Shores revenue sources and much more.

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