Atlanta CFO Jim Beard leaving for Florida job?

Atlanta Chief Financial Officer Jim Beard may soon be leaving Mayor Kasim Reed’s administration for a new job in Florida.

Beard is the finalist to become the city manager of Coral Gables, he confirmed on Wednesday.

He hasn’t yet accepted that position, nor has he resigned from Reed’s administration, he said. Beard, who earns $221,000 as the head of Atlanta’s finance department, said he’s negotiating a salary with the Coral Gables Commission and must also undergo a background check.

Beard said the Coral Gables position appealed to him because of the breadth of the job, and its location.

“This is an unique situation that provides the opportunity to move back to South Florida,” he said.

According to The Miami Herald, he was chosen from more than 100 applicants.

Reed thanked Beard for his work in a statement released on Wednesday and said he’s been supportive of Beard throughout the application process.

“I am proud of Jim and I think that his advancement speaks to the quality of people that we have as part of our organization, and we understand his desire to be closer to family,” he said. “We appreciate all of the contributions he has made toward moving the city in a healthier direction.”

Beard joined the city in 2010 from Palm Beach County as a deputy commissioner and CFO for the Department of Watershed Management. He was later named the city’s CFO in 2011, replacing Joya De Foor.

His departure would be the latest shake-up in Reed’s second term and gives the mayor another major position to fill.

Reed has yet to name a new executive director of Invest Atlanta after former head Brian McGowan left in March to join the Metro Atlanta Chamber. The mayor must also find a permanent replacement for former parks commissioner George Dusenbury, who left earlier this year. Amy Phuong is serving as interim of the department.

Following former chief operating officer Duriya Farooqui’s departure in January, Reed named Michael Geisler as the city’s COO. He’s since tapped Samir Saini as commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Anne Torres as the director of communications.

Reed also recently appointed former adviser Michael Sterling as head of the embattled Atlanta Workforce Development Agency following the sudden retirement of Deborah Lum in May. Lum retired days after an investigation by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution uncovered mismanagement and abuse of public tax dollars.

For updates, return to AJC.com.

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