It was his first day in the new role.
“It’s been interesting ... we had department head meetings this morning [and it was] interesting to hear what each of the individual departments were working on,” McKay said.
He said he is looking forward to serving his community in his new role.
“It’s serving the city where I’ve grown up. My family has been here since the turn of the [21st] century,” McKay said.
He said he is also looking forward to learning more about how government works.
“I haven’t held a job in government, but I’ve held similar positions doing administrative work and preparing a budget,” McKay said.
The financial aspects of the job carry a few different dynamics than his jobs in the private sector. He said the main difference is that most of the funds he will be working with are not generated by payment for a direct service.
“Shawn's 10 years with Henderson, Hutcherson and McCullough, CPA's, along with his work at Life Care Centers of America and Hardwick Clothes have given him a varied finance background that has prepared him for his position as finance director of the city of Cleveland,” said City Manager Janice Casteel.
One of McKay’s first major projects will be working with the city to update its strategic plan for capital projects.
“The interview process used identified Shawn as the most informed candidate on local issues facing the city, and a team player with strong communication and leadership skills. We are excited to have Shawn McKay join us as finance director/city clerk for the city of Cleveland,” Casteel said.
Casteel said McKay’s answers during the interview process demonstrated he had taken time to look over the city’s budget.
A panel consisting of a city manager, finance director and assistant finance director from other cities, compiled by the Municipal Technical Advisory Service, conducted the initial interviews.
Later, Casteel, assistant City Manager Melinda Carroll and human resources director Joe Davis conducted a second interview. Casteel made the final decision.
McKay fills the position left vacant by former finance director William Watson. Watson left Cleveland to take a finance director position with Rhea County.
According to Casteel, McKay serves on the board of directors of the Cleveland Aqua Tigers. He is also a past president for the Chattanooga Habitat for Humanity board of directors.