By Denise Dick
It’s been nearly a year since the former city schools treasurer announced plans to retire, but two searches and a couple of interim treasurers later, the position still hasn’t been filled.
“I’m very concerned,” said Lock P. Beachum Sr., school board president.
The school board met last week to discuss the position and the most recent list of finalists but didn’t reach a decision on an appointment.
Adrienne O’Neill, chairwoman of the schools’ Academic Distress Commission, the state panel appointed to guide the school district out of academic strife, said the commission met in executive session about the treasurer but took no action.
Former Treasurer William Johnson announced early this year his plans to retire July 31.
By April the school board, with help from the Ohio School Boards Association, had narrowed to four a list of finalists for the job.
In May though, the Academic Distress Commission directed the school board to conduct another national search. At that same meeting, the commission placed Johnson on paid administrative leave through the end of his contract.
An interim treasurer was appointed who worked through the end of August.
The board hired a school executive search firm to conduct the second search and in August that list was whittled to three finalists, one of whom also was on the previous finalist list.
A treasurer’s office employee was named interim treasurer and last month, the commission appointed a fiscal consultant to work in the office.
Mark Paprocki of Canton works a few days per week, earning $60 per hour. His contract expires next month.
Beachum said it’s possible that the contract could be continued by the commission, but he worries that just extending the consultant’s contract would mean no local treasurer reporting to the board.
He expects to meet this week with board members “to see what direction they want to take.”