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Former City Finance Director Jim Mahoney

In a surprise move, City Finance Director Jim Mahoney resigned Monday, effective immediately. The city will now look to hire a new finance director for the sixth time in eight years.

Mayor Steve Presley confirmed Mahoney's resignation, but told the Herald-Press Monday he would need more information before commenting.

Mahoney was the second interim finance director since former Finance Director Steve Groom was terminated in June, 2018 – and the fifth in six years. It's not known what Mahoney made as city finance director but his predecessor earned $89,000 a year.

Multiple attempts by the Herald-Press to contact City Manager Leslie Cloer were unsuccessful.

Mahoney, finance director since June, was under fire for water and billing issues, and for a lack of communication with residents.

At a city council work-session earlier this month, Mahoney said he was “kind of busy” when asked about notifying residents of an upcoming billing change.

This drew ire from some council members, including District 5's Dana Goolsby, who left the room after the comment.

Mahoney has received criticism from residents and council members alike, beginning with an October computer error, which brought billing to a stand-still. That led to residents getting charged for a six-week, rather than a four-week, cycle. Residents received no communication from the city about the change.

In January, the city mistakenly shut off the water, without notification, to more than 100 residents. Mahoney said the technical issues had been fixed, and the employee responsible for the mistakes terminated.

In work-session meetings over the last two months, several city council members told Mahoney he had to assume responsibility.

“You need to step up,” District 6 Council member Anne Connor told Mahoney in January. “You need to be aware of what's going on in your department, and say that it's your fault.”

District 1 council member Larissa Loveless told Mahoney she was tired of excuses.

“I've personally swallowed every excuse given to me when water bills have been messed up,” she told Mahoney in a January work-session. “I don't want to hear anymore that it's the meter, or the computer.”

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