Finch Appoints Anne Kelly-Lenz Finance Director

Patience and qualifications have paid off for Anne Kelly-Lenz who has been named city finance director. She had been serving in an acting capacity. News release from Mayor Bil Finch:

Mayor Bill Finch today named Anne Kelly-Lenz to the permanent post of Finance Director for the City of Bridgeport. Ms. Kelly-Lenz had been serving as Acting Finance Director since the departure earlier this year of Dawn Norton.

Ms. Kelly-Lenz has served Bridgeport as Treasurer since 2005 and Tax Collector since 2006. Prior to joining the City of Bridgeport, she served as Treasurer and as a consultant in the Town of Stratford from 2003-05.

Before her work with municipalities, Ms. Kelly-Lenz worked in the private sector as an accounting manager for Long Term Capital Management and JWM Partners, both hedge funds located in Greenwich. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Finance and a Master’s degree in Education both from Sacred Heart University. She is a certified Tax Collector in the state of Connecticut.

“Anne is a top-notch finance professional, and brings a great deal of financial expertise to the table,” said Mayor Finch. “I am pleased to have her on my leadership team and I look forward to continuing our work together to move the City forward.”

As Finance Director, Ms. Kelly-Lenz is responsible for planning and preparing all official statements for short and long-term financing as well as the City’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). She will oversee 56 employees in all financial departments including, Treasury, Comptroller, Purchasing, Tax Collector and Tax Assessor and the City’s in-house Print Shop.

“This position is a logical extension of my work in the private sector and in municipalities,” said Ms. Kelly-Lenz. “I have a great team working with me, including the Acting Tax Collector Veronica Jones and Acting Deputy Finance Director Terri Coward.”

Ms. Jones, the former Deputy Tax Collector, was named Acting Tax Collector in May 2012 to succeed Kelly-Lenz. Jones has been employed by the City for 18 years, serving as a cashier, accounting clerk and brief stint as a Tax Assessment Clerk. She became the Acting Deputy Tax Collector on 2009, and in February 2012 she became the Deputy Tax Collector. She holds an Associate’s degree from Housatonic Community College, and is a Certified Connecticut Municipal Tax Collector.

Ms. Coward serves as Acting Deputy Finance Director. Coward, a Bridgeport native, joined the Finance Department in 2011 as Chief Accountant, after a career in the private sector with stints at Sikorsky Aircraft, Fortress Investment Group and GE Corporate Finance.



  1. This woman couldn’t carry Jerry Barron’s clown shoes!!!
    Am I right, Lennie?
    Of course it would take a small platoon of Army Rangers to carry out that task. But they could use them as watercraft for beach invasions.

    1. Any finance director who survives three mayors who posed for mug shots has a special skill. Jerry certainly had that in Waterbury, Providence and Bridgeport. My guess is Anne Kelly-Lenz will be successful in this role. Her biggest frustration may be when the venerable John Marshall Lee comes calling for financial reports.

  2. If she is such a “top-notch finance professional, and brings a great deal of financial expertise to the table” why did it take Finch so long to name her?
    How long has Delta Dawn been gone?
    This is another no-brainer move by Finch and proof positive he has no brain!
    “If I only had a brain.”

  3. There is good sense in finding people who are qualified by education, experience and temperament to administer departments officially as Directors rather than as “Acting Directors.” Ms. Lenz has been impressive in her previous position for the City in Tax Collection. She is not afraid to try new approaches to old problems and appears to secure cooperation and productivity from those who work with her. She is professional and skilled in public communication.

    I have tried to reach her by phone at the office more than once since she became Acting Director to get some information or ask a question. I left my name and number but have never received a return call. Perhaps she was too busy with her new assignment, including the closing of the 2012 budget year, and becoming familiar with the work of the many areas that apparently will report to her.

    I look forward to her communication with the City Council Budget & Appropriations Committee at their regular meetings and expect her department will regularly and dependably provide Monthly revenue and expense reports (with more detail on variances and fewer duplicative errors than in the past five months). B&A needs guidance in what would become an effective tool in helping them begin a responsibility of fiscal analysis during each budget year. Progress must be made on this front that has been ignored by Tom Sherwood and the B&A during the past several years under the heading, “We can do anything you want …” that trails into silence, nothing done and status quo. Not a good place for the largest City in the state to find itself. Time will tell.

  4. Anne Kelly-Lenz is certainly qualified and is a nice-enough woman. But let’s face it. She was appointed because she can be controlled by Tom Sherwood. If she were her own person, she would be kicked to the curb like every other qualified employee who tried to do his/her job the right way. Sherwood controls the City budget, capital and bond money and all the grants. He “cooks the books” and spins the numbers to back up whatever lies the mayor is spewing. Those in the know, like JML, know exactly how bad it is; worse than during Mary Moran’s term. The City would implode if not for Sherwood’s unethical (illegal) maneuvering. Tom Sherwood calls the shots and is the true mayor of Bridgeport; he has been since Fabrizi’s term. Don’t let these appointments fool you.

  5. “Cooking the books” sounds like something that is distasteful, or a dish that is tougher on the teeth than al dente pasta.
    I understand any government structure can be mismanaged (and that includes the finances) but to get the Feds or others really interested you have to do something with the public funds all the way from embezzlement or stealing to a vague term called mishandling. So transfers that are not accounted for, especially between line items, extra Ordinance, or from Capital Accounts, bonded money or trusteed funds to other areas, even for a short time might be cause for concern. And if you do saute or stew with Federal money, the sleuths have a special interest.
    The real question at the local level is what do you do when the internal control structure is neither apparent (and probably inactive), when nobody is performing fiscal analysis worthy of that name, where budgets are not monitored regularly for want of reliable reporting, and no one bothers to perform a public review of the external audit. That salad must be eaten raw, with no dressing or croutons, at some future time when the public is going to have to come up with some more GREEN to bail out the menu of the supposedly “green” Finch administration. How many days, weeks or months it will take is open to question. But the trend is observable. Time will tell.


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