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The money man
Andy Parks took the reins of Bremerton’s budget Feb. 17.
The Oregon native has enjoyed getting acclimated to his new digs on the sixth floor of the Norm Dicks Government Center in downtown Bremerton.
Parks replaces Laura Lyon as Bremerton’s financial services director and comes with years of experience in the finance world and local government.
Parks said he is looking forward to getting involved in the community and cannot wait to play a few rounds at Gold Mountain Golf Club.
“I hope the citizens appreciate it and use it,” he said of the facility.
Not even three weeks into the job, Parks sat down with us to talk about his new role, accomplishments and his first impression of Bremerton.
Question: What is your first impression of Bremerton?
Answer: It’s a land of opportunity with a good foundation.
Q: What prior experience do you bring to Bremerton?
A: I’ve got 20-plus years of experience. I’m a CPA and I have worked in local government in both the public and private sector. I was a finance administrator for about eight years as well. I lived and worked in Oregon pretty much my entire life, so I am a (University of Oregon) Duck.
Q: What did you study at the University of Oregon?
A: My degree was in business administration and finance and so forth. I originally wanted to become a CFO-CEO type individual for a company like this down the road.
Q: What drew you to Bremerton?
A: I think it was what had been done with the port and downtown. The vision down there and everything met my expectations with that first look.
A: I have two children, a daughter, 19, and a soon-to-be 14-year-old son. They’re both great kids.
Q: Did Bremerton’s budget woes at all deter you from the finance position?
A: They certainly didn’t deter me. We go through these cycles and this is one of those cycles. The biggest challenge for this community is looking at declining revenues and a public that wants to continue to receive services. Unlike the federal government, we don’t print money whenever we think we need some. I think a big thing needed for this to turn around is the public needs to gain confidence and not just in the government, but in business and each other.
Q: What are you most looking forward to in your new role?
A: One of the aspects of the community looked at and talked about in the interview process is the revitalization of downtown, to expand, to get out into the rest of the community, to invest in Bremerton and ultimately see Bremerton grow.
Q: Do you have a favorite hobby?
A: I like to golf, I like to skate ski, I like to road bike. I like to stay in shape. And, as sad as it sounds, I like to study local government.
Q: What would you say are some of your biggest accomplishments to date?
A: There’s several. None of the cities I’ve worked for have had financial meltdowns. I’ve actually helped rebuild the financial credibility of several organizations. I’ve helped a housing authority secure top-notch mixed-use development, I’ve received the budget award, I’ve improved bond ratings at each place I’ve been and I anticipate we’ll see an increase in our bond ratings here. Probably the biggest accomplishment is that I get up everyday and enjoy what I do.
Q: What is one thing you want to try in your lifetime?
A: I haven’t tried scuba diving. That’s probably the one thing this year I’ve set out to do.
Q: What one person made a big impression on your life?
A: There’s been a lot of people who’ve been in my life for maybe a moment or a long time who have made impressions on me. One person I really look up to is a former boss in Bend (Ore.). We still communicate and work together on occasion, but I certainly take something away from each person I run into.