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City CFO Browder a finalist for Travis County budget officer position

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 by Michael Kanin

Retiring City of Austin Chief Financial Officer Leslie Browder is a candidate to replace the acting head of Travis County’s Planning and Budget Office, Leroy Nellis. Nellis is also retiring.


Browder is one of two finalists for the position. The other is current Pinellas County, Fla., Budget Director John Woodruff. Pinellas County includes the cities of Clearwater and St. Petersburg.


That news came as the Travis County Commissioners’ Court interviewed both Woodruff and Browder during this week’s regular Tuesday meeting. According to County Judge Sam Biscoe, the court will make a decision about the hire next Tuesday.


Browder is a veteran of City of Austin finances. She was first hired in 1985 as a senior staff accountant. Three years later, she moved over to the city’s Aviation department, where she served as Financial Manager.


She was promoted to Chief Financial Manager in 1996. Browder left two years later for a position in Encinitas, Calif. She returned in 2005, when she was named deputy CFO for the city. In 2007, she was elevated to her current role. Browder’s Austin tenure is set to expire at the end of January.


She told In Fact Daily that the availability of the Travis County position accelerated her back-to-work timetable. “My original plan had been to kind of rest, focus on hobbies,” she said.


“I had ultimately planned to get back in the job market, stay busy, be mentally challenged,” Browder continued. “This opportunity came up a little bit more quickly than I expected one to, and it’s just something I didn’t want to pass up—I think Travis County would be an exciting, great last career opportunity.”


She added that she “became aware” of the availability of the position through Nellis.


Woodruff, who has served as Pinellas County’s Budget Director since 2007, is no stranger to Central Texas. He holds degrees in history and geography from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from the University of Texas at San Antonio.


Woodruff has also been a manager in the Pinellas County budget department and served as a senior budget and management analyst for the City of San Antonio. He worked in San Antonio from 1998 to 2002.


Nellis replaced Rodney Rhoades on an interim basis when Rhoades left for a position with the City of McKinney in August.

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