, Salem, MA

December 22, 2012

Salem finance boss resigns


---- — SALEM — Finance Director Rich Viscay, who helped the city navigate a $3 million deficit and a school budget crisis during his first two years on the job, is leaving to become the chief financial officer for the city of Everett.

Viscay said it was a tough decision to leave Salem, but he is taking on a newly created position in the administration of Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria Jr.

“I have to take on new challenges,” he said.

Viscay, 41, submitted his resignation Tuesday from the $91,000 post, which includes an additional $3,000 stipend for serving on the Contributory Retirement Board.

He will get a salary of $103,000 in Everett as part of a total compensation package of more than $120,000.

“The past seven years have been very rewarding,” Viscay wrote in his resignation letter to Mayor Kim Driscoll, who hired him. “I have enjoyed working with you and working on a very successful team dedicated to providing top level services for the City of Salem.

“We have achieved many of our goals, and we can be proud to say that the financial conditions and integrity of the city are in much better condition today than when we took over in 2006.”

In 2006, Driscoll confronted a $3.6 million deficit in the city’s health insurance trust and a depleted reserve fund. Two years later, the city was hit with an unexpected school budget shortfall of nearly $2 million.

The city made its way through the fiscal problems with cutbacks, consolidations, community donations and state help. In the past few years, Salem has received several awards for financial management.

Driscoll called Viscay “the workhorse behind a lot of our financial success...He was a great leader for the finance team and he was a terrific partner for me. I’m a budget geek and I really like being involved in the numbers, and Rich was just a terrific partner who has really raised the bar in terms of how we approach municipal finances.”

She said Viscay is “leaving a solid foundation of good fiscal practices that will exist no matter who’s the finance director and who’s the mayor.”

Viscay’s last day in Salem is Jan. 18.

Tom Dalton can be reached at