CUMBERLAND â Town Hall employees are trying to cope with the loss of one of their own, following the death of Finance Director Steve Woerner on Wednesday.
Woerner, 61, died after being injured in a recent fall at his home, according to Mayor Daniel J. McKee.
âHe was a good man that we loved down here at Town Hall,â McKee said. âHe was very valuable to the town and a man who was close to a number of people here.â
Woerner's death prompted Town Solicitor Thomas Hefner to send his Town Hall coworkers an email noting that Woerner's family had scheduled his services for Monday, Aug. 13, from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Smith-Mason Funeral Home, 398 Willett Ave. in Riverside. Burial will be private.
âLet us all keep Steve and his family in our prayers,â Hefner said.
McKee said he counted on Woerner's financial turnaround expertise when he took office for his first term in 2001 and found the town facing serious financial difficulties.
The town's bond rating had dropped by four rating points and Woerner, coming in as an interim finance director, began the work that resulted in the town's turnaround, McKee said.
âWe were able to recover all those rating points back and Steve was the backbone of that successful effort,â McKee said.
Woerner also worked with then-Town Finance Director Thomas Bruce when Bruce came in to fill the full-time position. Woerner was brought back to serve as full-time finance director after Bruce went to work in Woonsocket.
âHe was a professional and Steve did a remarkable job for the town,â McKee said.
Woerner reported a surplus of $3.6 million for the town at the end of the 2011 fiscal year. The school department had a surplus of $1.5 million during that period.
The town employees working with Woerner found his loss especially difficult given his friendship with many of them, according to McKee.