Thursday, May 22, 2014

New Chief Financial Officer Hired at Fox C-6

Fox C-6's Chief Financial Officer's recent and sudden departure from the school district has been kept pretty quiet. The district hired a new CFO at the May 20, 2014 school board meeting during Closed Session. There was no mention of a need for a new CFO or any mention of the departure of the current CFO in the board packets that were posted on the website ahead of the board meeting. Fox's CFO was not at the May school board workshop held on Wednesday May 14, 2014. However, information about his departure was included in the Staff Separations in the Late Materials given out to the school board members at Tuesday night's board meeting. The Late Materials information was not provided to the public at the board meeting.

The May 20, 2014 board meeting packet was updated on Wednesday May 21st. The updated included Mark McCutchen, Fox's now former CFO, in the Staff Separations report. The report shows that Mark McCutchen will be leaving the district as of June 30, 2014.

From what I understand, the new CFO at Fox is Affton School District's current Chief Financial Officer who is John Brazeal. John Brazeal is a former City of Arnold councilman and former city administrator.

I look forward to working with Mr. Brazeal on making more improvements to Fox's Bill Payments and Credit Card purchase reports. Fox posted the new formatted reports in the May 20, 2014 school board packets but they didn't provide much more information than the previous reports. You can download and view the updated May 20 school board packet from the link below. The new report simply duplicated the Vendor Name in both the Vendor Name and the Transaction Description columns for the check payments. I mentioned this during Public Comments at the May 20 school board meeting. I also discussed it after the meeting briefly with Assistant Superintendent Rizzi and Superintendent Critchlow.

On Monday of this week I emailed the Fox C-6 school board members a copy of Wentzville School District's Bill Payments report as an excellent example of a bill payments report that Fox could use as a model report for enhancing Fox's reports. The public should be kept better informed as to how the district is spending taxpayer dollars especially when the district is trying to cut costs. Currently, Fox is set to deficit spend $4.5 Million dollars next year. The recent school board workshop had the Board of Education asking the district to cut it's deficit spending to zero by 2017.

Hopefully Fox will start publishing their credit card statements in the monthly school board packets like the Affton School District has been doing for years. Being full transparent is the only way for a school district to operate if they expect the community to trust them.

The Board of Education needs to realize and demonstrate that they understand that they represent the community and our concerns. It's their job to ensure that the Fox School District is nothing less than completely transparent. Sweeping things under the rug or hiding them from the public is not acceptable.