McPherson school board members gave their approval Monday to a plan from USD 418 administration to hire a director of finance for the district in an effort to improve administrative oversight.
McPherson Superintendent Mark Crawford acknowledged the timing of the request, as districts face a still uncertain future regarding funding, but he says the district needs this position to help alleviate growing administrative deficiencies in the Central Office. He said the the interim organizational plan adopted last summer was never intended to be permanent, but instead a way to study the district's organizational situation.
“We knew that we wanted to put together an interim plan and really study the division of duties and job responsibilities,” Crawford said. “I needed a chance to see how Central Office was working and truly build a most effective and efficient model after looking at it for seven, eight months. And that's what we've done.”
The 6-1 board vote Monday approves the position of Director of Finance/Human Resources for a July 1 start date to serve more as a business manager more than an administrator. They also approved Gordon Mohn to serve as Director of Operations and he will give up his McPherson County Special Education Cooperative director post in the process.
Crawford says the total impact to the USD 418 budget for all the positions is just one percent of the total budget.
“We're looking at some savings in certain areas, certain salaries,” Crawford said. “We're not planning on any real raises for Central Office staff for next year. So, with the new position coming in the 60s, the total additional revenue needed is going to be between $30,000 and $40,000, so really, a very small percentage of our total budget.”
The vote was not unanimous, as Kim Janzen had some concerns about the position.
“She had some valid points,” Crawford said of Janzen's concerns. “This board, I have to say, their strength is they're very deliberate, they're very patient and they truly take a comprehensive look at everything. That is a good process.”
Crawford says the hope is to have the Director of Finance/Human Resources hired by April, May at the very latest.