As reported on WZEP AM 1460 After serving many years alongside former Chief Financial Officer Jim McCall, Mary Hobbs left the Walton School District after a series of events ended the fiscal year with a fund balance below the three percent the Board said it wants. This absence left the District without a CFO during the budget process. The state assisted with a temporary person and the District hired Jim Messer under contract. At their last meeting, the School Board agreed to a number of personnel recommendations, including Debra L. Noyes at the new CFO. Noyes will not begin the job for 30 days and Superintendent Carlene Anderson told the Board Mr. Messer will continue with the budget process. She also said an experienced CFO from another district will assist Noyes as she begins the job, working as mentor. Anderson also listed changes and policy recommendations she feels are needed as a result of the questions brought from the last minute drop in the fund balance. While the fund balance is below the 3% the Board and Superintendent said they wanted to maintain to keep a good credit rating, the fall is not to a level the district is in a financial emergency. Anderson explained in more detail how a series of financial events and a miscalculation during a time when the fund balance was already at an unusually low point caused the problem. She detailed a plan to get the balance back to 3% this fiscal year and says she wants to see it at 5% in the future. This on top of an additional 1%. The new CFO, Debra Noyes, has been hired. Anderson said the Board could look at her application to see the qualifications. She told the Board there were six candidates and only two of them were Certified Public Accountants or CPA’s. She was hired under annual contract to replace the former CFO, Hobbs, and will be paid out of the General Operating Budget. On her application, Noyes received her high school diploma from Walton High and a BA Degree from New York University and is a CPA. Her most recent and current job is as the CFO for LifePoint Hospital/Putnam Community Center. She says she considers it an honor to work in the community she has strong personal history with as well as respect and pride for.