Mr. Deis, Senior Consultant, has spent 34 years in public service managing the finances of cities and counties in California, Oregon, and Washington. During his career, he managed a city with only 200 employees and a county with 5,000 employees. Throughout his entire career, whether he was an accountant or city/county manager, Mr. Deis has managed the finances of local governments by using his technical and strategic skills to understand financial statements and transform the organization’s financial position and operating culture. He has addressed a myriad of intransigent and complex issues that, until his arrival, were not being addressed.
Mr. Deis has provided consultant advice to various local governments in transition, including San Bernardino and Oxnard, CA covering the development of strategic plans, organizational assessments and strategies for recovering from organizational and financial distress.
Mr. Deis recently retired as the city manager of Stockton, CA, where the City Council in their own words said that Bob was “the architect of Stockton’s recovery”. He inherited an insolvent city of 300,000 that was chaotic and in distress from operational, budget and governance perspectives. In 3.5 years, he assembled a new management team and created a new high-performing organizational culture. He put the city on a path to solvency by taking the severe but necessary step of seeking bankruptcy protection, restructured and eliminated massive short and long term obligations, and passed a unique revenue measure. He also oversaw the creation and implementation of the Marshall Plan on Crime, a unique approach to a problem that has plagued Stockton for years.
Prior to Stockton, Mr. Deis was the County Administrator of Sonoma County where he developed the county’s first strategic plan that guided multiple successful initiatives, including: addressing an unsustainable OPEB unfunded liability, creating their first Criminal Justice Master Plan and initiating a new approach for investing in “upstream” programs to prevent more expensive “downstream” criminal justice and human service costs.
In 1996, Mr. Deis became the third city manager in Shoreline, WA as they just celebrated their first anniversary as a City. He inherited a chaotic environment and in four years implemented a new management team, a budget with substantial reserves, a well funded capital improvement program, a new general plan, and new operating policies and practices, creating a diverse community with a new sense of cohesion and pride.
In 1985, Mr. Deis began working for Washington County where he was part of a team that designed and implemented a strategic plan that transformed the entire organization and community. His focus was gaining special legislation, managing their budget process, soliciting voter approval for additional revenues on multiple occasions, and then implementing custom approaches to addressing unique needs of a county responsible for both urban and rural services. These efforts led to multiple bond upgrades. He also spearheaded a one-of-a-kind performance evaluation and new compensation system that supported the new organizational values of the senior management team.
In 1979 Mr. Deis served as an intern within the Finance Department of the City of Sacramento and ultimately became an Accountant/Auditor. He then moved on to the City of Eugene, Oregon where he focused on long-term financial planning and generating additional resources for the city.
Presentations and Publications
Mr. Deis has made many presentations at the New York Federal Reserve Bank, the International City/County Manager’s Association (ICMA) annual conference, at various League of CA Cities annual conferences, the USC Price School of Public Policy and Lafayette College, covering topics such as, strategies to avoid fiscal distress in cities, transforming cities during financial crisis, paradigm shifts in compensation practices, strategies for city managers during stressful times and how cities can recover from bankruptcy.
Bob has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Sacramento Bee, Public Administration Review and Bond Buyer.