Crain’s CFO award winner: Laurie Van Pelt

Laurie Van Pelt helped keep Oakland County’s finances ahead of the curve
when regional property values began plummeting last year.

Pelt, a county employee since 1978 and director of management and budget
since 2002, led the county to adopt its first three-year rolling budget
last fall, starting with this fiscal year.

If all goes well,
she said, the planning will leave Oakland with the same budget reserve
fund balance in fiscal 2013 that it had at the end of fiscal 2009 —
around $106 million — despite a falloff of nearly $40 million in
property tax revenue over the same period.

“I can’t take all the
credit. I’m not the goddess of finance,” she said. “We have a great
team here, and (the financial plan) couldn’t be carried out without
(County Executive L.) Brooks Patterson and the county departmental
elected officials, who have to be willing to work with the county and
adopt the sustainable practices we’re developing.”

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