Allison Cole

Nearly two years after being named Oxford finance director, Harlita Robinson is taking her experience to another town.

As of Feb. 18, Robinson will make the transition from Oxford to Forest Park as that city’s new finance director. She announced her resignation at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.

According to Robinson, her new responsibilities in Forest Park will be equivalent to those she had in Oxford.

Kenneth Bogard, Oxford’s vice mayor, said the responsibilities of a city’s finance director include working with the city manager to develop the city’s budget as well as supervising and running the finance department, which typically takes responsibility for all finance accounts, expenditures and collection of revenues for the city, such as utility bills.

Despite the move, which Robinson said she took partly because it is closer to her home, she will miss much of what Oxford has to offer.

“I got to understand what it was like to be in a college town and I enjoyed it,” she said.

Robinson said some of the advantages to working in Oxford include the vibrancy of the town and the lack of lulls that can be experienced in other towns. She also credited the city’s lack of ups and downs compared to other communities as a result of the student population that lives in Oxford the majority of the year.

Robinson said she would miss most the people of Oxford, both inside and outside of city hall.

“I will miss the people I work with as well as the greater community of Oxford,” Robinson said.

City officials will miss Robinson as well and said she was a great person to work with over the years.

“It’s been a delight (to work with Robinson). She has done so much in terms of developing the budget,” Bogard said. “I’m going to miss Harlita very much.”

Despite only working with her since being appointed city manager in October, Douglas Elliott, Oxford city manager, said he has enjoyed working with Robinson.

“She’s a very good finance director and has done some good things for Oxford,” Elliott said.

While Robinson’s job as Oxford finance director will not end until Feb. 18, city officials have begun looking for a replacement.

“We are positive that we will find a good person to replace her,” Elliott said.

According to Elliott, the city has placed advertisements for a new finance director in the Oxford Press, The Dayton Daily News and The Cincinnati Enquirer. In addition, advertisements have been placed in several professional magazines and on the City of Oxford Web site, Elliott said.

“We are planning on receiving resumes until Feb. 18,” Elliott said.

Elliott added that the finance director is a city council appointment. According to Bogard, this means the process for hiring a new finance director involves the city council looking at applications to narrow down the field of who to bring in for interviews.

In addition, Elliott said that applicants would be interviewed by one or two other committees composed of people such as city department heads and community leaders.

“The word is out. We are starting to get phone calls,” Elliott said. “I expect to receive resumes very soon.”

Elliott said that despite Robinson’s departure in mid-February, there is no set date to hire a new finance director. He added that the city does plan on moving quickly in the hiring process.

“It’s an important position and we want to fill it as quickly as possible,” Elliott said.

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