New city finance director is no stranger to South Lake Tahoe |

New city finance director is no stranger to South Lake Tahoe

Susan Wood, Tribune staff writer

South Lake Tahoe has hired a finance director who even before his first day on the job has shown a wizardry for planning and fiscal foresight.

Bruce Budman bought a house when he lived here four years ago and had the savvy to hold on to it — and the good fortune of it doubling in value.

Budman has frequented the Tahoe area since he left his accounting manager job for South Lake Tahoe to advance his career. He’s been wanting to return to Tahoe, eagerly awaiting the outcome of the selection through the narrowing process since the newly created position opened up in November.

“A dream has opened up to me,” he said.

Oakdale City Manager Bruce Bannerman said he “hates to see him go,” commending Budman on his fiscal prudence and skill.

He’ll need it. South Lake Tahoe has endured a budget crisis, prompting City Manager Dave Jinkens to bring someone on board who performs CFO-type functions, such as long-term planning.

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“Bruce understands the financial challenges we face in South Lake Tahoe and he has the skills as a director and insight as a former management employee to assist the City Council, city manager and staff during these difficult financial times,” Jinkens said.

He’ll begin his $80,000-a-year job on April 1.

Budman said he’s been warned of the city’s fiscal problems but pledged he wouldn’t shy away from meeting those challenges.

“The city is going through some tough times. Several people have said that to me. I think I’m up for it,” he said.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Cal State Northridge, Budman developed skills in retrieving money for other government agencies. He was an agent with the Internal Revenue Service.

“Being an agent is always exciting. I liked walking into my office after finding a big adjustment and earning the government $100,000,” he said. “I tried to be nice and treat people fairly.”

These days people seek him out to make money, asking for free tax advice.

When he’s off the job, Budman likes to mountain bike, ski, hike, play tennis and golf, as well as spend time with his dog, Eddy.

– Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at