By Bob Zientara
A decade’s worth of accounting work – including municipal governments from small townships to large cities – is on the resume of Elizabeth “Liz” Jacobson, who is winding up her first month as Barron city administrator.
Jacobson, who previously worked for the Hayward office of the accounting and consulting firm of Anderson, Hager and Moe, accepted an offer from the city in mid-May 2019. She succeeds Bob Kazmierski, now administrator for the city of St. Croix Falls.
“A number of (factors) attracted me to this position,” Jacobson said during an interview Wednesday, June 19, 2019.
Among them was the chance to move closer to her family, which is from the New Auburn area, she said.
In addition, her husband, Tucker, works as a quality control supervisor for Jack Link’s Company, in Minong, and wanted to stay within a reasonable commuting distance of his job.
Jacobson said she, her husband and their 3-year-old son, Nolan, are buying a home in the Cameron area.
“That (location) was the sweet spot for us as far as being closer to family, proximity to Barron and my husband’s commute to Minong,” she said.
Jacobson’s expertise with finance will soon come into play as the city of Barron moves into its budget cycle for 2020, a process expected to start later this summer, and end just before the New Year.
In her former job, Jacobson said she worked “with a client list that included municipalities, commercial businesses, nonprofits and individuals, for both tax and audit (purposes).
“I wanted to make a career change where, instead of spreading (responsibilities) over all areas, I could move to a single municipal entity,” she said.
Jacobson will be responsible for both the municipal and utility budgets, a multimillion-dollar operation.
“This is a thriving city with a lot going on,” Jacobson said. “And I have a lot to learn. I knew it would be a challenge, but I also knew this (job) would be a good fit. In a weird, accountant-type way, I am looking forward to the budget process,” she added. “I have always loved working with numbers.”
As for the rest of her job responsibilities – including working with department heads and day-to-day supervision – “I just want to establish relationships, meet key community members get involved (with the city) as soon as I can,” Jacobson said.