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New Woodstock city manager chosen

Longtime Woodstock finance director pegged to take on role

WOODSTOCK – The office soon to be vacated by City Manager Tim Clifton will be filled by his right-hand man.

Roscoe Stelford, who has served for 13 years as Woodstock’s finance director and treasurer and more recently as its deputy city manager, will take over the city manager role on May 1. The City Council voted 6-1 Tuesday night to appoint Stelford to the position Clifton has held the past 20 years.

“I have tremendous faith and confidence in Roscoe’s abilities and enthusiasms for the job,” Mayor Brian Sager said after the meeting. “While Tim left a very strong legacy for this community and certainly has very big shoes to fill, I have every confidence in the world that Roscoe is up to the task.”

Stelford, 45, graduated from Northern Illinois University with a degree in accounting and finance, and is a certified public accountant. He worked at the Government Finance Officers Association in Chicago for nine years before landing a job as Woodstock’s finance director.

The city has received the GFOA’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting in 12 of 13 years since Stelford was hired.

“I’m honored to accept the position,” said Stelford, who grew up in Hampshire. “Great mayor and city council – they’ve provided us with tremendous leadership in the past and I’m sure they will going forward. And it’s a tremendous workforce as, well. We have so many gifted employees that it’s a real honor to be part of that mix.”

Stelford will earn $140,000 a year.

Sager cited Stelford’s intimate knowledge of and responsibility toward the city’s finances, as well as his ability to relay complex information in a simple manner, as contributing factors toward his hiring. He also praised Stelford’s creative outreach.

“Those creative efforts, we think, are going to translate extremely well as he looks to work with community business, organizations, entities, and as he works with other members of the staff aggressively to bring new business and industry into our community, and works to retain those who’ve already invested,” Sager said.

Councilman Mike Turner provided the council’s lone “no” vote. He declined to comment after the meeting because the matter was about personnel.

Councilwoman Maureen Larson said Stelford has accomplished a lot in his current position.

“It will be a much broader role for him, but he has a great deal of talent and he’s well-respected,” Larson said. “I think he’ll be very effective.”

Tuesday’s announcement ends a process that began in September and included 41 applicants. The search committee – which the city chose to assemble internally – narrowed that list to 10 applicants, interviewing those selections before forwarding four finalists to the city council.

The city council conducted further interviews and background checks before cutting the list to two and approving Stelford’s contract Tuesday night.

Stelford will take office on the first day of the new fiscal year. Clifton’s last day is April 30.

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