New Mukilteo Finance Director Ana Maria Nunez is a firm believer that things happen for a reason.
In 2009, Nunez decided to run for the Island County Treasurer election, but then the current Treasurer decided to retire and encouraged Nunez to run. Her deputy finance director, Nunez, consulted her husband, Carlos, and asked if she would like to teach others her work, which she already knows how to do. In addition, Nunez was in danger of losing her post as her chief deputy was appointed.
Nunez won the election and served four years before seeking re-election.
After his term ended on December 31, Nunez visited family in New York City. Her mother then underwent emergency heart surgery. Before going to see her mother, Nunez interviewed for a financial analyst position with the Seattle Police Department.
A few days later, the agency offered her the job.
Nunez returned to her home on Whidbey Island to gather documents for a background check. It took the Seattle Police Department a long time to process all the paperwork.
“I was able to spend those months taking care of my mother,” Nunez said. “I was really lucky. When she left New York, I felt safe leaving her mother. Then I started working in the city of Seattle.”
Nunez, 61, worked in the city of Seattle for eight years when she found a position as treasurer at Makilteo. The job description matched her skills and her experience.
“I plan to further utilize the skills I learned throughout my accounting career when I worked as an accounting manager in the City of Seattle,” Nunez said.
Her new job at Makilteo coincided with another major turning point – the death of her father. A city council vote to approve her appointment was delayed by his death.
“I was really happy and honored to be selected,” Nunez said. “It was very sudden. It was totally unexpected. I remember getting a job offer from the City of Seattle when my mother passed away. So I don’t understand.
“Maybe they’ll go there and pull the strings.”
skills and strengths
What does a Finance Director do?
In simplest terms, the Treasurer ensures that the city’s debits and credits are equal.
Of course, this position does not only guarantee the sum of the numbers.
Nunez said finance chiefs gather information from various departments to know whether budgets are being executed properly. Determine which items assigned for the year have been completed, and if not, what stage of completion they are in.
Her duties also include examining each department’s plans for the coming year and determining if funds are already available or if the city needs to raise funds for those plans.
“All these elements are put together in a coherent document that is then submitted first to the mayor and then to the council for discussion and approval,” Nunez said.
Finance officers need to understand where they work.
“When we create the budget, we create it keeping in mind what our citizens need and where that fits in this budget, so we need to know the city’s priorities. How you say it is a good way to say it.” ”
It goes without saying that you also need to be good with numbers, she added.
But interpersonal skills are important.
“You really need patience and a good ear for communication.” Despite being less than two weeks old, Nunez is committed to helping more parts of government than he did in Seattle. I already foresee it. Due to the sheer size of Seattle, she spent most of her time serving her two departments: Police and Human Services.
“Here you are part of it all. You are part of the fire department. You are part of every service the city provides,” she said. “You can be more involved in the process. The size of the city allows that. Seattle is so big, you have different departments to handle it.”
The timing of Nunez’s appointment was ideal as the city had just begun the budgeting process.
“There’s a lot to learn. Government accounting is government accounting. But how does the city do business? The details of the financial structure and all that stuff. That’s the learning curve.”
“We are a very military family.”
One of the side benefits of Nunez’s new job is a shorter commute from his home on Whidbey Island.
Her job in downtown Seattle required a daily commute of up to 5.5 hours, depending on traffic and weather. Nunez is still at Banpur and she will take the ferry to Makarteo. But now Vanpool drops her off at City Hall instead of Seattle.
Her daily commute to Makilteo totals 1.5 to 2 hours.
“Once you get off the ferry, you’ll be there in less than 10 minutes,” she said.
Nunez and her husband have been married for 38 years and have two grown sons.
Her husband is a retired Navy chief and project manager for Boeing. Nunez’s eldest son is a Marine veteran studying to become a pilot. Their youngest son is in the Army Reserve and recently returned from deployment. His day job is a special agent for the FBI.
“We are a very military family,” Nunez said.
During their 38-year marriage, Ana and Carlos lived in Puerto Rico, Jacksonville (Florida), Maryland, Spain, Japan, and finally Whidbey Island. The two spent about four years in Japan before landing in Washington State.
“You never know where life will take you,” she said.
Nunez enjoyed military life, especially in a foreign country, but did not like her husband’s deployment. He was a naval aviator and had traveled a lot.
“I didn’t like the separation. It was very hard for the children,” she said. “But we have to live where they don’t expect it.”
Nunez pointed out that there is a big difference between being a tourist and living in the country. When you live in a country, you truly experience it.
“So I focused on the positives of being married to a husband and a military man, because you are married to a military man,” she said.
Nunez said he would drive to Portugal or another country with his sons for the weekend if he wanted to.
“You just have to make the most of where you are,” she says.
Nunez met his best friend when his family was stationed in Spain, and he still has a friend and godmother in Japan.
“It gave my sons the opportunity to see other cultures and see how we are similar and how we are different. For them, it’s never been easy. was.”
For her sons, the most difficult part of living abroad was the separation from their extended family. They call home for various celebrations, but notice that the calls are unusual.
Both of Nunez’s grown-up sons decided to stay in New York, where her family was originally from. Her eldest son attended school there and lived with Nunez’s parents. After deployment, Nunez’s youngest son also stayed with her parents.
“Not having a family was the biggest thing for them,” Nunez said.
Both of Nunez’s sons have lived with her best friend at different times in their lives and consider her part of the family.
“Her children are their siblings. You form a separate family.”