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Cumberland leaving city
Finance Director leaving retiring from city
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Sheila Cumberland is retiring as Finance Director for the city of Ceres and she was honored by Mayor Chris Vierra was a laser-engraved wooden plaque of appreciation on Monday. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/Courier photo

Sheila Cumberland, who is leaving her post as finance director and the deputy city manager of the city of Ceres, appeared at her final Ceres City Council meeting on Monday.

Cumberland, who is retiring on Nov. 7, received a wooden plaque from Mayor Chris Vierra in celebration of her service.

The Finance Department, said City Manager Toby Wells, was "trained, shaped, molded into a fantastic department" by Cumberland.

"It is a tremendous loss to this organization but we wish her all the best."

Wells noted that Cumberland is using a coffee mug that says: "No tension, give me the pension."

The departure is being celebrated at City Hall on Nov. 6.
City Manager Toby Wells said deputy Finance Director Suzanne Dean will be filling in as the director until a decision is made with whether to promote from within or recruit on the outside.

Cumberland has served a total of 15 years with the city. She was hired as finance director by then City Manager Gary Napper on Nov. 4, 1996, replacing Carlos Sanchez. She left in 2006 after the departure of Tim Kerr as city manager to work for the city of Turlock. She returned to Ceres in 2009 when the city of Turlock issued her a lay-off notice.

A native of Woodland Hills who also grew up in Denair, Cumberland earned her bachelor of science degree from Cal State Stanislaus in 1986, serving a while as the Patterson finance director prior to becoming finance director of Calabasas from 1992 to 1996.

As finance director, Cumberland has overseen city water and sewer bills and business license fees. She has also been responsible for the paying of bills, tracking revenue, financial accounting and city investments.