Prepared Notes for Board Meeting Ė Cusick Recognition

December 13, 2010† - Marc A. Schare Ė †

614 791-0067 †marc9@aol.com

 

 

Our board gives out staff impact awards for all kinds of accomplishments. Most of those awards reflect the impact that staff has on the students of our district. Tonightís award is a little different because of the impact that TJ Cusick has had not just on internal audiences but even on those segments of the community that donít have children in our district. †

 

Iíve touched on this before, but it really does warrant repeating. There was a time not to long ago when the data coming out of the treasurerís office lacked credibility, either because it wasnít sufficiently documented so the average citizen could make sense of it or, more often, that it was wildly inconsistent with previous data and no explanation for the inconsistency was forthcoming. The result was that a not-inconsequential number of constituents believed that the district was either making stuff up, †hiding money or simply losing it.

 

It has been years since Iíve received an email questioning the veracity of data coming out of the district and as you all know, we have some folks in Worthington that keep a pretty close eye on this stuff. Simply put, what was once a major problem is no longer an issue.

 

But the treasurerís office has gone beyond that. This year, TJ had a lead role in publishing the districtís first comprehensive budget document. This unique book thoroughly documents many aspects of the districtís expense structure, by building, by department and by revenue source. I want to emphasize that Worthington Schools did not have to publish this, but weíve strived to put into place a culture of transparency in district operations and the budget document that TJ produced is a tangible byproduct of that culture.

 

I am a voracious consumer of data coming out of the treasurerís office, but most of our community is quite content with the readerís digest version. For them, TJ has orchestrated the GFOA award-winning ďPopular Annual Financial ReportĒ but again, it should be pointed out that a constituency is satisfied with the readerís digest version only when it knows that the raw data exists to back up the summary. It is a tribute to the professionalism of the author and the entire finance department that the PAFR, the CAFR, the Budget document and the forecast all sync to provide different views based on the interest level and experience of the reader. Anyone who has ever written technical documentation knows what a challenge that can be.

 

So, for going above and beyond the requirements of the Ohio Revised Code, recognizing that Worthingtonís constituents tend to scrutinize school district financial data more than most and for making sure that the data presented by Worthington Schools retains the highest levels of credibility, it is my privilege to present the staff impact award to T.J. Cusick.