Tyler’s top bean counter is retiring his municipal calculator.
Chief Financial Officer Daniel Crawford plans to step down next month following 35 years of municipal service, 16 of those with the city of Tyler.
“It’s truly been a joy to be a part of the city of Tyler,” Crawford said Wednesday after providing his last quarterly revenue and expenditure report to the Tyler City Council.
He gave a positive budget snapshot and predicted continued improvement in major funds.
“I really enjoy what I do,” he said. “When I first became a government employee, I thought it would be for a short time, maybe a week or two. It didn’t work out that way.”
City leaders praised his budget crunching and his devotion to duty, saying it’s going to be tough to let him go.
City Manager Mark McDaniel said, “It is bitter sweet — he’s a good friend and he’s brilliant financially.”
Keidrick Trimble, who serves as the city’s budget and internal auditor, was appointed to serve as interim until a permanent replacement is named, officials said.
The two men plan to work side-by-side for the next month to ensure a smooth transition, officials said.
Crawford’s understanding of municipal accounting is known throughout the state, city officials said.
His contributions played an important role in helping keep the city on track — Tyler has no property tax supported debt and uses half-cent sales tax revenue to fund the bulk of its capital improvements such as fire stations and roadways.
The city’s finances have been recognized at both the state and national levels, including multiple “Excellence in Financial Reporting” certificates and “Distinguished Budget Awards” from the Government Finance Officers Association.
Texas Comptroller Susan Combs also tapped the city to receive the “Gold Leadership Circle Award” that highlights local governments that set the bar for financial transparency.
After so many years of service, the desire to retire is understandable, officials said.
Crawford said Tyler is his home and he plans to hang around and enjoy the second chapter in his life, which includes quality time with family.
“There are so many good reasons to stay,” he said. “There are a lot of good reasons to go.”
He expects continued success from both the city and the capable people he leaves behind.
“I look forward to seeing more great things,” he said.
Tyler’s mayor, who is also an accountant, said she’s happy for Crawford and maybe a bit reflective on what it means to begin a new balance sheet in life.
“I just finished 35 tax seasons and I don’t get to retire,” Mayor Bass teased. “There’s something wrong with this picture.”