Source: Sherman Publications

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Schools to hunt for new CFO

by Trevor Keiser

January 30, 2013

After Oxford Community Schools' Assistant Superintendent of Business and Finance Tim Loock announced he had accepted an employment offer and was leaving at the end of January, the school board signed a letter of engagement with School and Municipal Advisory Services PC.

"Don Sovey from School and Municipal Advisory Services PC will serve as our interim Chief Financial Officer (CFO) until we fill the position vacated by Tim Loock," said Communications Coordinator Linda Lewis in an e-mail to the Oxford Leader. "Sovey will help establish new budgeting procedures for all areas of administration."

The board approved the contract on a 6-0 vote at the Jan. 23 board meeting. Board Spokesman Bill Keenist was absent.

According to the letter of engagement, School and Municipal Advisory Services PC will perform the following:

Provide digital format for Long-Range (three year) Financial Projection for administration and board of education planning purposes and make presentation to district leadership.

Provide digital format for Collaborative Educational Plan and Budget Approach for 2013-14 Budget including verification of 2012-13 amended budget to district source documents and discussions with business staff and administrative staff.

Provide staff training and mentoring for business operations, including monthly financial reporting, where appropriate

Conduct office efficiency and staffing study site assessment to provide digital Overview of Business Office Responsibilities for review and discussion.

Facilitate CFO search.

"Given the special skills, experience and talent required of a CFO, we opted to bring in a consultant with the expertise needed to identify, assess and select the right candidate," Lewis said. "The district used the same approach when hiring its controller two years ago."

School and Municipal Services PC charge at a standard hourly rate. Principal Advisor is $165 an hour, Senior Advisor is $85 to $135 an hour, an accountant is $40 to $50 an hour and Administrative is $25 to $30 an hour.

The board established a range of $53,000 to $61,000 for Sovey's services," added Lewis."When you factor in the savings from Tim Loock's departure, the actual increased cost to the school district ranges between $5,000 and $12,000."

Loock was paid a salary of $117,300.