• Thu. May 23rd, 2024

Another West Fargo finance director leaving after less than a year – InForum

WEST FARGO — A second West Fargo finance director is leaving the city after less than a year on the job.

Heide Delorme submitted her resignation Feb. 8 and her last day with the city will be Thursday, Feb. 22, City Administrator Dustin Scott told city commissioners on Tuesday, Feb. 20.

Delorme did not offer a clear reason for leaving in a letter announcing her resignation.

“I regret any inconvenience this will cause. I will do my best to finish my current projects before my last day and will be available for questions after that date,” Delorme said in the letter submitted to Scott.

Heide Delorme

City of West Fargo.

“The city of West Fargo wishes Delorme the best in her future endeavors and thanks her for her hard work during her time as finance director,” Scott said Tuesday.

Delorme was hired last May after former Finance Director Judith Afdahl resigned April 7. Afdahl began as finance
director in late August 2022 following the departure of Jim Larson, who was hired in 2018.

The city received 14 applications for the finance director position and Delorme was among three finalists interviewed by a hiring committee that included Mayor Bernie Dardis and Commissioner Roben Anderson. The committee considered Delorme along with West Fargo resident Eric Carlson and Iowa resident Brian Majeski.

Delorme worked for the City of West Fargo after serving as the director of finance and administration for the United Way of Cass Clay. She moved to West Fargo from Bismarck in 2022 after working as assistant chief financial officer for the North Dakota Department of Human Services and director of administration for the Department of Water Resources. Delorme had also served as the accounting manager for Mandan Parks and Recreation and served two terms as a member of the Bismarck School Board.

The finance director is responsible for the management of accounting, debt/treasury, utility billing, budgeting, accounts payable/receivable, payroll, and investments of West Fargo. Delorme was earning a salary of $123,677.

Delorme was hired in West Fargo shortly

after the city experienced an exodus of department heads. Along with Afdahl, Information Technology Director Dustin Roberts and City Administrator Tina Fisk resigned in March followed by Communications Director Melissa Richard, Human Resources Director Jenna Wilm and Library Director Betty Adams.

The city

contracted help from AE2S Nexus , a group providing financial services, including utility billing and accounting,

until the fall to help keep the finance department running.

Three finance department employees were fired

in late January and early February 2023 after widespread billing mistakes of city-provided utilities such as water and sewer service were discovered. The mistakes resulted in a loss of at

least $1.25 million in taxpayer money,

according to a Forum analysis of public records.

Administrator Scott said he hopes to fill the finance director position as quickly as possible. The finance department is in the middle of seeking new billing software, a study that Scott said Tuesday will be delayed until a new finance director is hired.

Wendy Reuer

Wendy Reuer covers all things West Fargo for The Forum.

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