Jane Sumpter is only a week away from becoming Fresno’s next assistant city manager.
Sumpter currently is the city’s budget manager. She begins her new job on Nov. 27.
“Jane is one of the most competent and professional people I have ever had the pleasure to work with,” City Manager Wilma Quan-Schecter said in a news release. “More important, her integrity is beyond reproach, her leadership skills are well respected, and her knowledge of the financial arena has the depth of experience we need to maintain our strong fiscal strategy.”
Added Mayor Lee Brand: “It is my pleasure to welcome Jane to the team. She’s done great work on our budget and we are expecting great things from her as our assistant city manager.”
Sumpter is a lifelong resident of Fresno. She earned an undergraduate degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting from Fresno State. She has an associate of science degree in paralegal studies from Fresno City College.
Sumpter began her City Hall career in 1987 as a junior auditor. She has been budget manager since 2011.
Ah, yes – 2011. What a time to be handed the City of Fresno’s budget! Then-Mayor Ashley Swearengin and the City Council (of which Brand was a member) were desperately trying to keep the city out of bankruptcy court and their constituents somewhat satisfied.
Sumpter and her team weren’t charged with setting spending priorities. Such policy-making rests with the politicians. But the pressure was intense and incessant on Team Sumpter to find every penny beneath every seat cushion.
Fresno’s much improved credit rating is due in significant part to Sumpter and her fellow bean counters.
If you’ve seen Sumpter in action during budget hearings, you know that she answers questions with precision and clarity. She doesn’t speak too fast. That by itself will make her a blessing (at least to reporters) on the council dais.
Nor is she afraid to dip into the world of sports to make her point.
Sumpter opened the 2017-18 budget (438 pages of facts and figures) with a quote from football coaching legend Vince Lombardi: “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”
Sumpter added in her letter to city officials: “To the above quote I would add it’s what makes a Budget Office work. The completion of this budget document could not have been accomplished without the skill, dedication and professionalism of my team. Unless you have been involved in the actual planning and preparation of the budget it is impossible to appreciate the hours and brain cells these people have sacrificed over the last few months. They are Henry Fierro, Sharon McDowell, Pedro Rivera, Scott Motsenbocker, Alma Torres and Alyse Muniz. Thanks guys.”