Ed Corser, the finance director who helped Riverside County navigate difficult budgets during and since the recession, has announced he will retire in September. At the same time, Executive Officer Jay Orr said Corser will be succeeded by Paul McDonnell, formerly the county’s finance director and elected Treasurer-Tax Collector.
Corser served as finance director from January 1998 to May 2004 and from February 2010 to the present. He developed alternatives for maintaining essential services during the recent recession, when annual revenue dropped by as much as $200 million. Corser worked directly with department managers on workable plans for down-sizing, frequently provided advice to the Board of Supervisors, and made presentations to local community groups on budget issues. His experience in municipal finances goes back nearly 50 years and includes stints as Orange County’s chief financial officer from May 2004 to June 2006 and as Los Angeles County manager-CEO from June 2006 to February 2010. His last day will be Sept. 10.
“Personally and professionally, we will miss Ed terribly but we wish him well,” Orr said. “It’s difficult to imagine us trying to get through those recession years without him.”
McDonnell was the elected Riverside County Treasurer-Tax Collector from 1998 through 2008. He oversaw the annual collection of $3 billion in local property taxes and management of the $5 billion Treasurer’s pooled investment fund. He was the county’s finance director from November 2008 to December 2009. Formerly a Wall Street financial adviser, he returned to the financial services industry when he joined C.M. de Crinis & Co., Inc. in January 2010. He returns to the county staff Aug. 17.
From 1984 to 1998 McDonnell was an underwriter and adviser to dozens of California cities, counties, schools and special districts. Eight of those years were spent in public finance with Smith Barney (CitiGroup) and the rest as a managing director of the firm now known as RBC Capital Markets.