Prepared Text for Board Meeting – August 13, 2007 – Treasurer.

Marc A. Schare

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There are few things that a board of education can do, collectively or as individuals, that can have as long lasting and profound effect on a school district as the hiring of a new treasurer. A treasurer is not merely the Chief Financial Officer for, in our case, a 105 million dollar organization, they are also the keeper of that trust between the taxing authority and the taxpayer. We as an institution are dependent on that trust for our very survival. There was a time, not to long ago, when financial information coming out of the district could not be relied upon. Bad numbers, rapidly changing numbers and unexplainable numbers led to deep rooted community suspicion and distrust and only 6 short years ago, 3369 of our fellow citizens, myself included, were outraged enough to sign a petition to repeal a tax levy. In the last 6 years, the district has fixed this problem and the community has responded. We no longer argue about how much there is to spend, if we argue at all, we argue about priorities. When numbers change as they inevitably do, whether due to changes in the law, policy or simple human error, the changes are rigorously explained for all to see. The community no longer believes that data is concealed, the suspicion and distrust are, for the most part, gone and in November of 2006, 62% of voters approved our latest levy. When we started the treasurer search, I knew, and this entire board knew, that we cannot go back.

 

The treasurer search was a very intensive process. The board started with 18 candidates and invited 7 back for interviews. We interviewed the 7 over 2 nights and did much independent research before agreeing on 4 candidates for the next round. We did a second round of interviews and we owe deep gratitude to the staff and to the Treasurer’s Advisory Committee for their time and thoughtful advice in conducting their own interviews and throughout the process. We selected 2 candidates to introduce to the community and tonight, we are formalizing the appointment of Jeff McCuen as Worthington’s new treasurer.

 

As someone who has kept track of our district’s financial well being for years now, Worthington can have confidence in this appointment. As the community will come know in the months and years ahead, Jeff has a true gift and passion for school district finance and a burning desire to do right for all the stakeholders in the district. He will be an outstanding treasurer.

 

I want to make one other point. When I came on the board, I was told that board members must all agree on “important” decisions like levys or hiring a treasurer. I disagree. I value and respect the opinion of every one of my colleagues and we discuss and argue passionately over issues, but at the end of the day, there are still five of us and it is possible that we look at the same set of data and draw different conclusions and there will never be anything wrong with that, at least as far as I’m concerned.

 

Jeff, welcome to Worthington Schools. Do us proud.