Mansfield City Schools’ long and demanding journey through state-imposed fiscal emergency might – might – come to an end before Christmas.
The district’s Financial Planning and Supervision Commission, which included new member Teana Sykes, heard Tuesday that the Auditor of State’s office has initiated the process for terminating the fiscal emergency designation. That word came from Steve Moomaw of the auditor’s regional office in Canton. “As of 1:13 this afternoon the termination report was sent for first review,” Moomaw told the commission, explaining that other officials must review it before it reaches Auditor of State Dave Yost. Only Yost can lift the fiscal emergency declaration. “Hopefully, Auditor Yost will give his approval by Dec. 20.”
The commission and the MCS board of education have scheduled a joint meeting for 4 p.m. on Dec. 20 in the hope that release from fiscal emergency will be achieved that day.
Moomaw’s statement on Tuesday indicated that the auditor’s regional office agrees with the district’s revenue and expenditure numbers, including the treasurer’s office’s five-year financial forecast. “A lot of hard work has gone into reaching this point,” Treasurer Robert Kuehnle said after the meeting. “I am optimistic that by the end of the year we will be out of fiscal emergency which has been our goal since March. I am glad the auditors’ five-year forecast was very, very close to mine. It feels good to know that after reviewing my numbers the auditors came to the same conclusions.”
The commission has governed district finances since its inception on Jan. 2, 2014. The panel worked with the board of education and district administrators to develop a financial recovery plan in 2014 and has met monthly to review revenue and expense totals.
Although the commission is nearing completion of its work Mrs. Sykes was sworn in Tuesday as the member who has a child enrolled in the district. She succeeds Jill Haring who has to step down after her daughter graduated.