Indian River district selects budget oversight committee members

SELBYVILLE – Indian River School District has selected 10 community members to serve on the replenished Citizens Budget Oversight Committee.

The purpose of the committee is to provide additional transparency and to ensure that stakeholders have input into the district’s budgetary process.

A selection committee comprised of district administrators and board of education members reviewed all applications and chose the 10 community members based on their educational and vocational backgrounds.

Citizens Budget Oversight Committee members are, in alphabetical order, as follows: Justen Albright, Gary Brittingham, Morley Daehn, Jr., Kathleen Evans, Greg Goldman, Linda Lewis, Dave Marvel, Austin Short, Rose Watkins and Chris White.

The term length for each member is two years with an option to continue serving at the discretion of the Indian River Board of Education. All members will attend a training session provided by the Delaware Department of Education in July.

The Citizens Budget Oversight Committee was developed in accordance with Delaware Code and Delaware Department of Education regulations. It will also include the district superintendent and director of finance.

The committee will meet at least quarterly with the chairperson providing a report on the committee’s activities at an Indian River Board of Education public meeting.

The committee will be advisory in nature and make recommendations on financial matters to the Indian River Board of Education.  The committee’s responsibilities will include, but not be limited to, review of monthly/quarterly financial statements, review of the annual budget before presentation to the Indian River Board of Education and review of trends and future needs of the district to prioritize future expenditures.

The committee may also meet in conjunction with the district’s established Finance Committee at the discretion of the superintendent and/or school board president.

The budget oversight committee was a priority on IRSD Superintendent Mark Steele’s checklist, following the release of a state audit last November that identified lack of oversight and internal financial controls. Patrick Miller, then the district’s chief financial officer, was placed on paid administrative leave in April 2016 and subsequently retired.

In February of this year,  State Auditor Thomas Wagner commended the Indian River School District on its corrective measures taken as a result of the special investigation report issued Nov. 17, 2016.

In an initial meeting for budget oversight committee members is scheduled for Wednesday night, June 21.

“Sort of a get-to-know meeting and talk a little bit about it … and get them set up for their mandatory training,” said Mr. Steele. “I really wanted to get that in, because I thought building the trust back with the community is absolutely essential.”

The Sussex County Post delivers news from Georgetown and southern Delaware. Follow @SussexPost on Twitter.

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