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Wednesday, Apr 01, 2015

District takes CFO search national


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BROOKSVILLE - Tax rolls will be certified this month, and as Hernando County School District learns what its funding will look like for the 2013-14 school year, there's still no chief financial officer to help direct those funds with a budget deadline less than two months away.

The school district receives funding from taxable property values that have not increased, said school board member Dianne Bonfield, and district staff has been working overtime since former-CFO Desiree Henegar resigned in January.

"We posted the job advertisement three times, and it's not that administrators are not looking, but it's finding someone with the right background," Bonfield said. "School finances are very difficult, and especially for the state of Florida."

"I am concerned," Bonfield added.

The online job advertisement for the CFO position has come down once again, but the district is preparing to expand its search and tap into a larger pool of prospects with the hopes of finding a candidate with the right qualifications.

"They are reposting the position nationally to try to reopen up the search," said school board attorney Dennis Alfonso. "They intend to fill it, but right now they have to get a new pool of applicants."

Final budget approval is in September, Alfonso said.

Hernando County School Superintendent Lori Romano could not be reached for comment.

Former Chief Executive Officer of All Saints Academy in Winter Haven, John Wilkinson, was hired this summer as the next CFO but announced in May he would not be able to take the position.

The announcement came about two weeks after Wilkinson's wife of 24 years was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

The school board and Romano will hold their first public workshop, budget hearing and school board meeting July 30, and a private executive session is scheduled for Aug. 13.

"We need to have a chief financial officer," Bonfield said. "It's put an undue burden on others, and they've done a great job, but it's not fair."

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