At the Board of Education meeting on 12/7/2016, the District adopted the Comptroller’s Audit. There has been some discussion about the audit in the community and there should be. A link to that audit can be found on under the Board of Education tab on this website. If you’re so inclined, I would encourage you to read the other audit reports that are also posted online. At the 12/7/16 Board meeting, I read a personal statement that I wanted to share with those who were not able to attend the meeting.
It’s never easy to have outside groups critique our work. While I agree with some of the findings of the Comptroller, I disagree with others. Rather than nitpick, what I want to do is what I would encourage our staff to do when we are providing them feedback or what we want our students to do when they get feedback. Learn from it. As the Superintendent, I should also be the lead learner. As we move through the next budget cycle, I will be directing our Assistant Superintendent for Business, Ed Gnau, to work with me, his staff and our external auditors to do two things. First, develop a budget with the goal of a zero percent increase on the tax levy for 2017-18. Second, and probably more importantly, to prepare a series of presentations so that we can thoroughly educate the board and the community about all the ins-and-outs of how to access the reserves, what can and cannot be done with the reserves and the potential positives and drawbacks to using the reserves. We have some important decisions to make over the next few months and years. I believe strongly that while our primary focus must be getting the academic program turned around, we have to do that in the context of helping our whole community thrive and that involves our role as a taxing entity. So, my pledge to you is to work as hard as I can to do to just that.
As always, I thank you for your ongoing support of the Newark Central School District and wish you a happy, healthy and relaxing holiday season.