‘System’ should prevent repeat

 

Granville Superintendent Mark Bessen said the system he has with business manager Kathy Somich provides the kind of oversight that should prevent a repeat of the recently

discovered $1.4 million state aid error associated with the EXCEL project.

Bessen said the two have a list of activities they know must happen at given intervals throughout the year along with when they have to happen. In September they know what information the state needs from the district and they meet to discuss those requirements until they are completed.   

“We have a calendar we go over and check things, long and short range, so that we can double check each other a bit,” Bessen said.

“Once something has been flagged, like in that case, it would stay in the forefront of our discussions until we both agree it had been fixed,” Bessen said.

In a case such as the state’s system flagging aid numbers, the two would confer on the matter at their regular meetings. “Kathy and I would be having a conversation and then follow up with the state to make sure they received any corrections that we did,” Bessen said. 

Last week, former business manager Robert Sheridan showed the computer-generated form where the questioned SAMS (state aid management system) numbers came from.

“I didn’t pull these numbers out of the air,” he said. The form SA-129 is generated by the district information officer for the business manager; a computer program provides the numbers.

Sheridan said both he and former Superintendent Dan Teplesky noted the numbers were under review, but he never went back to correct them.

“I’m sure it was on to the next headache or putting out the next fire,” Sheridan said.

With a plan to pay off the $1.4 million in place, Bessen said, the district is continuing to take care of business.

“We’re moving forward and maintaining our fiscal management as best we can,” Bessen said. 

Bessen said he was not worried about such a thing happening again because he had Somich as a business manager.

“I‘ve got Kathy Somich so I’m not worried about it,” he said.

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