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Letters to the Editor - June 27, 2019

Richland mistakes may be repeated

 


My interest in Richland School District affairs was again sparked by the forced resignation of Superintendent Dr. Garcia, and public statements by district CBO and others in position to know of the financial health of the district.

Most enlightened citizens of this community were fairly sure, after the election last fall, that Dr. Garcia’s resignation would be the end result. But few, if any, would have even imagined it would have happened in a short 6 months.

Well, that is now water under the bridge, but this boards past record over the past 10 to 11 years, on selecting and working with superintendents is excruciating poor. My educated guess is that you may be about to make some of the same mistakes again.

It’s no secret that the district, last year on a cash basis, deficit spent by over 500,000.00 dollars, and that the district deficit, this coming fiscal year will be substantially more.

It is also no secret that the past superintendent was increasingly concerned about the fiscal hole the district is digging for itself, along with improper fund transfers.

In my opinion, this seems to boarder on fiscal mismanagement.

After some investigating, I discovered that a special county audit by FCMAT was placed on the agenda by Dr. Garcia, at the last board meeting, for the purpose of a deep audit to help the board determine and prioritize spending, and perhaps unnecessary and even wasteful spending. This is a service the County office provides to districts that may need help in these financial matters, and was removed from the agenda.

Because of the divided nature of this board, which almost, at times, seems to border on dysfunction, and the increasing criticism of the CBO, it seems to me that this board is unable to deal with the complexity of these issues. Therefore, I strongly suggest that you reconsider your actions and approve the FCMAT audit.

Now 2 small caveats to this if you will about the FCMAT audit.

I hope that there will be no confusion in thinking the regular annual audit that is preformed, will be sufficient, because the audit performed by FCMAT is totally different, in its scope and purpose, as you know.

Also, a cost of 18,000.00 dollars for a FCMAT audit to help you get to the bottom of these financial matters is minimal, compared to the continued contract buy outs of past superintendents that you seem to have no problem in the past.

Thank you for allowing me to express my opinions and views here tonight.

STAN VOTH

Shafter

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