Kitsap’s new budget guru takes over
September 15, 2008 · Updated 11:34 PM
Gabriel assumes duties this week.
Kitsap County has a new director of administrative services as of this week, with Shawn Gabriel taking over for Ben Holland, who retired this summer.
“This is perfect timing,” Gabriel said at the end of his first day. “I’m arriving at the right place in the budget process.”
Gabriel said he spent his first day acclimating himself to the county’s procedures.
“I’m off and running,” he said. “And everyone’s treated me very warmly.”
Gabriel supervises approximately 45 people. Aside from overseeing a budget that exceeds $300 million he will supervise facilities maintenance, risk management, purchasing and administrative staff.
He earns $109,000 per year.
Gabriel was scheduled to begin meetings with individual department heads on Tuesday. In this capacity he will discuss expenditures and start the determination of where to cut.
In the period since Holland left the budget development process has been overseen by County Administrator Nancy Buonanno Grennan.
Gabriel will immediately take up some of the slack.
“One of the benefits of having Shawn here is that Nancy no longer needs to do two jobs,” said Central Kitsap Commissioner Josh Brown. “We’ve been eager to get this position filled, and he brings us a high caliber of experience on the budget side.”
Neither Brown nor Gabriel could estimate exactly how many positions would need to be cut in the 2009 budget.
Brown, however, predicted the county would have a balanced budget for the second consecutive year.
“Even though our revenues are down, we’ve been able to control expenses,” Brown said.
Gabriel said he just finished the budget cycle for his last employer, the city of North Miami Beach, Fla., and that he was prepared to manage the Kitsap County budget process.
“There are a lot of things common to governments that don’t exist in the private sector,” Gabriel said. “And between different governments the budget concerns are pretty much the same.”
Gabriel, 37, is married and has two small children. He is currently staying with his in-laws in Seattle while the family looks for a permanent home.
“He seems to be a really good guy with great experience,” said Marilyn Osborn, who works on the budget. “We consider ourselves fortunate.”