DES MOINES: Des Moines City Manager Michael Matthias won the 2019 Award for Excellence, the Washington City/County Management Association’s (WCMA) top award that recognizes an outstanding administrator or manager who has enhanced the effectiveness of local elected officials and consistently initiated creative and successful programs, the city announced Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019.

The award was presented Aug. 14, 2019 at the WCMA Summer Conference in Kennewick.

Matthias was recognized by the selection panel “because of the many programs he has put into place that have resulted in a dramatic turnaround for the City’s finances,” the city said. “At the time he became City Manager in 2016, Des Moines was facing bankruptcy. By creating budgets that diversified revenue streams, establishing discipline for structural revenue to exceed structural expenditures and limiting the use of one time money for one time purposes, the City has been able to maintain a $5 million fund balance over the past three years. The City is now on a solid financial footing with similar fund balances projected for the next five years. As a result of these actions, the City was awarded a Government Finance Officers Association certificate of achievement for excellence in financial reporting. After a bond rating review in 2018, the City received an upgrade of three steps by Standard & Poor’s to a rating of AA+, as a function of excellent financial management and a bright future.” 

“Des Moines continues to benefit from Michael’s ongoing contributions to this community,” Mayor Matt Pina said. “It is great to see that his colleagues across the state also recognize his achievements.” 

Deputy Mayor Vic Pennington was able to attend the award ceremony along with Chief Operations Officer Dan Brewer, Chief Strategic Officer Susan Cezar and Assistant Director of Parks Nicole Nordholm. 

This award is a great honor for the City of Des Moines, and is recognition of outstanding leadership by the City Council and Administration.