delgazette.com

Financial lessons from Washington

January 9, 2013

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KATE LIEBERS

Staff Writer

Delaware City Schools hired an interim treasurer to temporarily replace Christine Blue, who announced her resignation in August.

Steve Huzicko was hired to fill the part-time position at a rate of $70 an hour. His employment is not expected to continue after January 2013, according to the contract.

Huzicko, who retired from his district treasurer position in 2003, has about 33 years of business and finance management experience. He was a management consultant at Eleryia City Schools for 13 years, a district treasurer at Worthington City Schools for 14 years and a district treasurer at Margaretta Local Schools for six years.

He has since worked for the Ohio School Boards Association, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and as an interim treasurer.

School board president Matt Weller said he was pleased that Huzicko was able to guide the district through this transition, adding that Blue set the standards pretty high.

“We’ve got big shoes to replace,” Weller said. “We’re looking for someone who has the trust of the public and the ability to project and forecast the budget accurately. We rely on that so much on a board when we do our planning, when trying to figure out what we can afford and what we can’t afford.”

Qualified candidates must be able to explain those financial projections in a way that the general public can understand, especially during a levy campaign, Weller said.

Helping the district find a permanent replacement is Finding Leaders, a service for which the board agreed to pay up to $7,500. The board plans to spend an additional $7,500 for other expenses.

The consultant’s services will include soliciting and managing applications and reference forms, recruiting candidates and conducting the initial screenings, briefing the board about the finalists, assisting and scheduling interviews and notifying applicants not selected for the position.

The contract guarantees the search for one year.

Weller said that Finding Leaders is familiar with the district, having helped the board find its last superintendents.

“We’ve got a real comfort with that company,” he said. “We feel like they’ve done pretty well for us.”

The board expects to offer a multi-year contract with a compensation package based on the experience and educational background of the final candidate.

The deadline to apply is Oct. 19, according to the board’s tentative timetable. The district hopes to begin the screening process on Oct. 22 and to make an action to employ by Dec. 7. The contract is to begin Jan. 1, 2013.

The district is encouraging qualified candidates to complete an online application found at findingleaders.com.

Blue was a treasurer for the Delaware City Schools district for 16 years. She told the Gazette that she was leaving due to multiple health issues.