After 10 years serving as the City of Orlando’s Chief Financial Officer, including during the recession in the late 2000s, Rebecca Sutton is stepping down from her position and retiring.
Sutton has worked in various similar positions at other agencies for 38 years, but Orlando, she said, has held some of the touchstones of her career.
Mayor Buddy Dyer lauded her for getting Orlando to “the best financial condition of any city in Florida” during her time, and praised her efforts on multiple projects with Orlando City Soccer, the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center and more.
In her speech addressing the council, Sutton praised the diversity of the Orlando community.
“It’s been a challenge to look at the city,” she said. “Some of the things I take away are beautiful venues. This community supports the arts, sports and people.”
She told Orlando Rising after the meeting that one thing she learned in Orlando was about working together and how to accomplish more by doing so.
“One thing I learned working with Mayor Dyer is how important, and how much you can accomplish, through collaboration,” she said. “Most of what we’ve done, we haven’t accomplished individually. We worked with the County, Orlando City Soccer, the Dr. Phillips Center. We’ve done a lot for the homeless. It’s all been accomplished through collaboration. We’re more powerful together.”
She said she helped the homeless through doing more work with Housing First initiatives that aim to help house the homeless more efficiently.
Of the recession, she said the city accomplished what they did and kept Orlando on-track financially through making government smaller wherever they could and spending less.
“We had to find ways to help in the short term without damage to the long term,” she said. “We found some expenditures to put off, and we lived within our means.”
In retirement, though, Sutton said she plans to see her grandchildren and spend a lot more time with them now.