City of Brookings searches for CFO

Editor's note: This article has been corrected to reflect that Shawna Costello's last day was Oct. 12.

BROOKINGS – Brookings City Manager Paul Briseno is looking for a chief financial officer to lead the city’s Finance Department.

The CFO job will replace the finance director position, last held by Shawna Costello, whose last day was Oct. 12.

According to Briseno, whenever any position opens up, he likes to analyze the position to see if anything should be changed.

“Any time we have an opening within the city, no matter the department, we try to take a look internally to understand what’s truly needed in that position, what’s needed within the department to achieve the goals of the city council and our community,” Briseno said.

One of the results of his review is that the Finance Department would benefit more from having a CFO than a finance director.

“The finance director position in the past was more boots on the ground. It was really working day in and day out with accounting, working with the staff that we have,” Briseno said.

The finance director also assisted in budget development and assisting other department heads with financial matters.

With a CFO, Briseno envisions someone working closely alongside him to create financial policy and do financial planning with a long-term perspective that looks to be efficient and to achieve the city’s goals.

“Really, the CFO takes a higher-level approach into projecting and into policy making and assisting me as city manager to make recommendations to our city council on financial initiatives,” Briseno said.

Briseno has hired an interim department head until someone is hired as CFO. Ideally, he’d like to have someone hired by mid-December, although he added that this is sometimes a difficult time of the year to hire.

“The last thing I want to do is to just hire for the sake of hiring. I want to make sure we hire the right person for this organization and for this community,” he said.

According to the job description listing, the salary for the CFO would be between $86,000 and about $116,000. 

For him, experience is going to be one of the key things in hiring a CFO. Preferably, he’d like to have someone with governmental experience, but he will consider experience in similar industries and settings. Specifically, the job description requests at least seven years of senior level government, nonprofit or association experience in finance or accounting.

He encouraged anyone interested to check out the employment tab on the city’s website at and apply.

Contact Eric Sandbulte at [email protected]


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