About the Department

The Finance and Management Services Department is responsible for providing accurate and timely information regarding the city's financial affairs while adhering to the principles of leadership, customer service, quality, integrity, teamwork and collaboration. The department encourages the personal and professional growth of its employees, and to this end, provides excellence to its customers.


A dynamic department of highly motivated professionals that supports the financial framework and ensures financial sustainability, which are necessary to reach the goals and aspirations of the City of Asheville.


We strive to provide a foundation of support that enables sound decision-making and execution of City initiatives through responsible stewardship of public assets.


  1. Improve communication and cross-functional collaboration through partnerships and education.
  2. Clearly define performance expectations and motivators to attract, develop, and retain high quality staff.
  3. Instill confidence, inspire trust, and ensure transparency through accurate, purposeful financial and managerial processes and reporting.

Barbara Whitehorn, Chief Financial Officer 
Location: Asheville City Hall, 4th floor 
Mailing: P.O. Box 7148, Asheville, NC 28802 
Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Director's Office: (828) 259-5484 

Beth Bechel, Communication and Administrative Manager
Office: 828-259-5598

In the News

Bond Issue October 2017

The City plans to issue long-term debt for capital projects in October, 2017. The City uses a construction financing model to fund projects; issuing short-term interim debt during project construction and then refunding (refinancing) the debt with long-term debt every few years.
The issuance, planned for October 12, will include a refunding of the 2016 short-term Limited Obligation Bonds with long-term Limited Obligation Bonds (LOBs) and Special Obligation Bonds (SOBs). The City may also take advantage of the low market rates to refinance the existing 2012 LOBs (about $12 million) for an interest savings of approximately $655,000.

AAA from both S&P and Moody's

City of Asheville Earns AAA Bond Rating - The City of Asheville will be able to borrow money at a better rate than most other cities, due largely to a stable financial outlook and a growing, well-diversified economy coupled with strong financial management and reserves. Read more at CitySource or see the report.


Finance and Strategic Services

Leads the Strategic Services Team which is comprised of the Purchasing Division, Risk Division, and Strategic Planning & Performance Management. Works closely with the Department Director to execute critical strategic projects. Partners with the Internal Auditor on Business Performance Management projects related to operational improvement. Leads and manages cross-functional project teams. Acts as an internal consulting partner to other departments.

Frank McGowan, Finance and Strategic Services Manager
Office Phone: 828-259-5811
Cell Phone: 828-777-1139

Strategic Planning & Performance

Tom Downing, Financial and Programmatic Compliance Specialist
Phone: 828-259-5588

Purchasing and Contracting Division

Click here to access the Purchasing and Contracting Division, Current Bid Opportunities and other related information.

Amy Patterson, Purchasing Manager 
Phone: 828-259-5953 

 Risk Management Division

Risk Management's mission is to provide effective risk, safety and claims management services to each department and the citizens of Asheville in a timely, courteous, efficient and effective manner within organizational guidelines.

The Risk Management Division provides comprehensive administration, budgeting, financing and loss prevention control services for the City of Asheville, including all lines of insurance and Workers’ Compensation. The Division also processes claims for damages from the public and manages them to disposition and works with all departments to mitigate unsafe conditions in City facilities or in the protocols and procedures utilized to deliver services.

The City Risk Manager serves as the American with Disabilities (ADA) Coordinator regarding ADA Title II concerns. Please contact the City Risk Manager regarding ADA Title II matters.

Brad Stein, Risk Manager 
Phone: 828-259-5687 

Financial Operations

Fiscal Services Division

Douglas Whitman, Treasurer
Phone: (828) 259-5502

The Fiscal Services Division maintains and preserves the City's financial records and delivers support and other services to City staff and outside vendors. The Division is also responsible for management of the City’s cash, investment and debt portfolios in compliance to NC State Statutes, federal requirements and generally accepted accounting principles. A brief listing of the responsibilities of the fiscal services division are as follows:

    • All payroll related functions
    • Mange all central accounts payable activities
    • Management of the City's central banking account relationships
    • Maintenance of the City’s debt portfolio
    • Preparation of miscellaneous billing items, including annual business License renewal

    Accounting Division

    Becki King, Controller
    Phone: (828) 259-5589

    The Accounting Division is responsible for financial reporting, general ledger and sub-ledger accounting.  Accounting leads the year-end audit and Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) process. 

    • Manage the purchase card program

    Budget and Financial Reporting Division

    Tony McDowell, Assistant Director of Finance - Budget and Forecasting
    Phone: (828) 259-5635 

    We Are An Award Winning Department

    • Distinguished Budget Presentation Award, 28 years, from the Government Finance Officers Association.
    • Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, 38 years, from the Government Finance Officers Association.