Darien hires finance director from New Canaan
Darien has completed its search for a new finance director. Now New Canaan will have to launch one of its own.
Jennifer Charneski will take over the position after serving for three years as budget director/comptroller for the Town of New Canaan. Much of her focus in that position was to redesign staffing and operations for the Finance Department, while maintaining the town’s AAA credit rating.
“My approach to municipal finance is to combine historical experience with best practices and emerging trends in order to minimize tax increases while maintaining service levels and improving town finances,” Charneski said in a statement released by Darien.
Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said in her announcement of Charneski’s appointment that “we believe that her education, experience, attitude and unique skills will be an asset to the Town of Darien.”
The Board of Selectmen was unanimous in supporting the appointment.
Charneski recently assisted with the creation and launch of New Canaan’s five-year capital plan, which she said she hoped would help forecast future capital costs as department heads track shifts in assets. The concept, she explained in March, was to prevent surprise costs from emerging as departments shifted to a five-year focus. “I think you start looking at it a little differently once you see what else is hanging out there,” she said at the time.
Charneski previously worked as Hamden’s budget coordinator and as acting finance director, developing and administering the operating and capital budgets and guiding the authorization of $36 million for the construction of a new police headquarters.
Earlier in her career, Charneski was a member of the Office of Management and Budget’s Internal Consulting Team (ICT) in Broward County, Fla., where Stevenson said she conducted process improvement studies and helped develop a Performance Measurement Coaching program.
She has bachelor of science and master of public affairs degrees from Indiana University.