By Kevin Kelley

Fairview Park

Fairview Park Finance Director Lisa Rocco is resigning Oct. 14 to become the director of operations for Cuyahoga County Fiscal Officer Dennis Kennedy.

“An opportunity came up that I couldn’t pass up,” Rocco told West Life.

She said Kennedy’s leadership of the county fiscal office is increasing the level of trust the public has in county government.

“I want to be part of that team,” Rocco said.

Before Rocco came to Fairview Park City Hall in 2006, she served as the director of the county budget commission.

Rocco said she was most proud of the fact that audits of the city’s finances were perfect for the past four years. And for four consecutive years, the city received the Auditor of State Award with Distinction for recognition of a clean financial audit and excellent record keeping.

A graduate of West Virginia University, Rocco said she instituted consistent budgeting and purchasing processes across all city departments. Rocco expressed appreciation to Mayor Eileen Patton for the opportunity to serve in her administration, adding that the city is fiscally responsible with taxpayer dollars.

City Council recognized Rocco with a resolution of appreciation at Monday night’s meeting. Many council members credited Rocco with having a knack for teaching them about the complexities of governmental accounting and budgeting.

“You always understood your budget in and out,” Ward 4 Councilman John Hinkel told Rocco.

At-large Councilwoman Peggy Cleary called Rocco the “unsung hero of City Hall.”

“Your ability to put things in everyday language we all understand made it really easy to understand the budget,” said Cleary, who chairs council’s finance committee.

Patton praised Rocco’s leadership and dedication to her job.

“You helped guide us throughout the worst financial crisis this country has seen in decades, and you did this through communication with me, the directors, the chiefs and city council,” the mayor told Rocco. “We all knew what the bottom budget line was at all times, which helped us create priorities as we continued to serve our residents.”

Rocco said she enjoyed working with council members.

“We have brought consistency and transparency to the finance department,” Rocco told Council members. “And I will miss Fairview Park, but I am excited for this new opportunity I have been given.”

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