WEBSTER COUNTY, KY (12/19/12) - When the Webster County School Board met Monday night, it was the final meeting for three board members.
The meeting opened with a moment of silence in honor of Sandy Hook Elementary school, followed by a tribute to board members E. Carolyn Tucker, Steve Henry and James Nance. Each was presented with a plaque and thanked for their service to the district.
Tucker thanked each member individually and then wished the incoming members good luck. She closed with a word of advice to everyone.
“If we don’t have our parents, we can’t say that we fully have our students,” she said.
Henry offered similar comments to the board and then said that as much as he would miss serving with them, he was going to be glad to be a parent again.
“If you haven’t served on the board, you don’t know how hard it is for us to be parents,” he said. “You go to games to watch your kids and people always want to talk to you about something else. Now I get to enjoy being a parent again.”
James Nance was absent from the meeting.
Next the incoming board members were supposed to be sworn in, but Superintendant Dr. James Kemp said that would have to wait until the January meeting because of some legal issues.
CPA Mike Overby presented the board with the 2011-2012 Audit Report.
“I know it's been a while that you’ve been waiting on this, but there were some problems during the audit period that held us up a bit,” Overby said. Financial statements are the responsibility of the Webster County School District Management, it is our responsibility to express an opinion on them. In my opinion the financial statements report fairly.”
According to the report there were $24,633,458 total assets and $16,698,717 liability during last school year for a total net of $7,934,741.
The total governmental funds revenue for the year were $20,313,716 with a total expenditure of $20,773,547. That left a deficit of $459,831.
The food service fund produced a revenue of $417, 256 but spent $1,134,805. $811,073. Thanks to government reimbursements of approximately $811,000, food services generated a net profit of $93,000.
In old business Superintendant Dr. James Nance resubmitted a contract with MUNIS Consortium that the board had voted down last month.
MUNIS, an acronym for Municipal Information Systems, is a product of Tyler Technologies of Falmouth, Maine. The Kentucky Board of Education uses a number of software modules from Tyler to create its customized fiscal accounting program. For Webster County it has been difficult to handle because MUNIS is always changing, and because the district has changed treasurers several times in the last few years.
Past contracts the district has had with MUNIS consultant Jerry Tomes provided six days of training and assistance for district employees. Last year the days were increased to 24, for a total of $14,858.
In November the board inquired about sending Treasurer Brandi Burnett and Payroll Clerk Jamie Jones to be fully trained on MUNIS by Tyler Technologies instead of bringing Tomes in on an as needed basis.
Dr. Kemp said that after speaking with Tyler Technologies, Jerry Tomes and Kathy Pelletier, another MUNIS consulted, it became clear that there was no official training program available.
“From a business standpoint you expect if you buy a program you’ll have someone who can train you on it,” said board member Jeff Pettit. “But this program is so crafted for the state of Kentucky that there are few people available.”
Pettit recommended that if they adopt the contract, that they get a tracking system in place to make sure that they take advantage of all of the training days available.
Board members voted in favor of the contract 4-0.
Next on the agenda was an amendment to the districts guidelines on expenditures on school related trips.
“Our current policy is on that is not specifically sculpted to pay for competitions at or before the district level,” said Dr. Kemp. The amendment would clarify the existing rule. “If a trip is a state level trip it will be reimbursed.”
“I would like to wait until the new board comes on before we vote on this because I think there are some other things we need to work on,” Tim McCormick said.
The issue came up last month when the cross country team qualified for state competition and had to travel to that competition between board meetings.
“Whether it is academic or athletic, we ask our booster clubs to raise money for travel,” Steve Henry said. “The board has always taken care of state. Not all of our organizations have booster clubs, so there is no way for them to raise money. I hate to see the board handcuff itself so it can’t help those clubs out. Are you really going to put that into a policy?”
“It's already a policy,” E. Carolyn Tucker said.
“I suggest that the incoming board revisit the entire travel issue,” Henry said.
The board voted 4-0 to table the amendment for a future meeting.
Next they voted to hold the next board meeting on January 7, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. in the board office.
Finally Dr. Kemp reported that construction on the new Webster County High School bleachers was underway. Unfortunately the expense of the bleachers was built into the Middle School bond money, which will not be issued until possibly April. The district will have to float the $90,000 out of the general fund until the bonds are sold.
J-E News Editor
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