Gilroy’s New Finance Director

The City Council on Nov. 7 welcomed new finance director Jimmy Forbis, who comes to Gilroy from the city of Monterey. His official start date was Nov. 1, and he will earn an annual salary of $175,000.
Forbis, who lives in Morgan Hill, was the finance director in Monterey for just over two years, earning an annual salary of $171,000, his last day was on October 14. He will oversee the city’s $117 million budget.
While in Monterey, he was credited for managing the city’s purse strings during a $100 million construction boom and the successful passage of Measure P in 2014, a 1 percent local sales and use tax increase to raise funds to fix that city’s streets and 100-year-old storm drain system.
“The advantage of Jimmy is he is a familiar face,” said city administrator Gabriel Gonzalez. Before Monterey, Forbis was the utilities business manager for the city of Morgan Hill, where he started in 2007. Previously he worked as a management analyst in San Mateo County.
Forbis has a Master’s degree in public administration from San Jose State University and a Bachelor of Science in recreation administration from the University of Kansas.
The hiring of Forbis comes after a months-long search to find a permanent replacement for former finance director Christina Turner who left Gilroy for Morgan Hill in February.
Turner’s final salary rate was $184,968 per year, having advanced to the top of the pay range for that position.
Barb Voss, assistant finance director, had been acting as interim director since then.
The city reached out to finance professional groups, including the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers and Government Finance Officers Association, for experienced candidates, and reviewed 22 applicants from across the U.S., settling on their top five candidates, all current municipal finance directors at public agencies, according to city human resources director LeeAnn McPhillips.
The candidates then underwent a rigorous interview process, leaving two finalists, including Forbis, who was picked after a final interview with the city administrator and finance department staff, as well as a successful background check.
“It is really an honor to be a part of the staff, a lot of exciting things are going on in Gilroy so I’m really happy to be a part of that,” Forbis told the council.  
Moving forward on street repairs  
The council on Nov. 7 also unanimously approved a contract to Intermountain Slurry Seal, Inc. in an amount not to exceed $1,308,088 for citywide pavement improvements, part of a $2.5 million one-time budget amendment approved by council in June to address the poor condition of the city’s streets. The city received two bids for the project, the other was from O’Grady Paving, Inc. for $1,368,075 with the winner submitting the lowest bid. This represents the first phase of a two-phase project. The second phase starts in March.
Staff said signage indicating the dates of construction will be posted at affected areas a week before work begins. Work is set to start Nov. 21, depending on weather conditions.