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Bremerton finance chief retires after five months

Bremerton Financial Services Director Barbara Stephenson announced her retirement Monday after a five-month tenure in the position.

Having finished updating the 2010 budget for the city, which will be considered by the City Council July 7, Stephenson's last day will be July 2.

"I decided I want to join my husband who has been retired four years and spend more time on our boat," the Poulsbo resident said.

Mayor Patty Lent said she knew Stephenson was winding down her career when she asked her to work for the city in January. As the former Kitsap County Treasurer, Stephenson had decided not to run for a third term. But after Lent fired former Financial Services Director Andy Parks at the start of the year, she wanted Stephenson to finish certain projects for the city, such as the 2010 supplemental budget and the $9.6 million bonds for the planned Park Plaza parking garage.

"She did a fabulous job," Lent said. "I'm just pleased with the projects that she took on and completed."

Stephenson was confirmed by the City Council in January despite objections from some city council members about her lack of a bachelor's degree and the absence of council input on the mayor's selection.

Now that she has assembled the budget, Stephenson said it is the right time for her to move on.

"The timing is appropriate for the project," she said.

Lent said she plans to hire a temporary financial services director to work through 2011, but will take her time in making a permanent selection.

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