By Denise Dick
Beginning Wednesday, the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center and the county Educational Service Center will share a treasurer.
Blaise Karlovic, who’s been MCCTC’s treasurer for about four years, will add ESC treasurer duties to his responsibilities.
“It’s about shared services,” said Ron Iarussi, ESC superintendent.
Karlovic said it’s about consolidating services, improving efficiency and ultimately, saving money.
The ESC’s former treasurer resigned to take another job, offering the opportunity for treasurer sharing.
The six treasurer’s staffers from the ESC will move into offices at MCCTC, joining the three employees there.
Iarussi said because the two centers’ governing boards share all but two members, it made the sharing more feasible.
The ESC is governed by a five-member board. Those same five people, plus a member each from Struthers and Campbell, make up the MCCTC board.
Kathi McNabb Welsh, president of the ESC board, credited Iarussi and Karlovic for the idea.
By saving money for the two centers, that savings can be passed along to other districts in Mahoning County, she said.
“We’re hoping to be a [statewide] model for shared services,” she said.
Both boards passed resolutions this week approving the agreement. The ESC resolution says Karlovic will be paid no more than $71,000.
Karlovic estimated that the ESC savings will be about $59,000, while the career center will save about $53,300 because of the agreements.
He sees potential to save more through economies of scale purchasing for maintenance supplies, custodial supplies and other services.
Iarussi said the ESC is in discussion with Austintown schools for that district to provide food service to ESC entities including the alternative school and early childhood program. The center isn’t in the food-service business, he said, and contracts out for those services.
Austintown schools, however, already employs someone who handles that operation.
Though past attempts to nudge schools and governmental entities toward consolidation have met with criticism, there has been some movement in that direction in recent months.
Last month, the Mahoning County Area Cooperative Computerized Educational Support System, which provides Internet, payroll services and other technology to Mahoning County schools, received a $100,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Development for a feasibility study for a shared- services computer network for the county.
ACCESS spearheaded the effort to get the grant, but 16 other entities are involved. They are the ESC; Mahoning County Auditor’s office; county commissioners; Austintown, Boardman, Goshen, Springfield and Poland townships; Poland Village; Struthers; Data Recovery Systems; New Middletown; Youngstown; and the county sheriff’s, recorder’s and treasurer’s offices.