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Walton School District Hires New CFO

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by SoWal Staff, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. SoWal Staff

    SoWal Staff Serving the Community! Staff Member

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    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.
     
  2. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    Oh thank god she's a local. :sarc:
     
  3. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    I have no problem with locals hired based on their qualifications. ;) And it sounds like she has the ones needed for CFO.
     
  4. John G

    John G Beach Fanatic

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    WHO is she Related To?

    I bet someone... :wave:
     
  5. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    I heard Mark Davis.

    As I said, as long as a person is qualified and was hired based on their merits, I'm OK with that. A small town will have a certain amount of relatives and friends and "networks" that get hired despite their qualifications not up to par. This doesn't seem to be the case, so maybe we should look at the bright side of this and not try to look for fault everywhere- there are many more places to look for real cases of nepotism and cronyism.:scratch:
     
  6. John G

    John G Beach Fanatic

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    what the heck does Mark Davis have to do with this?

    is the new hire somehow related to him?
     
  7. j p nettles

    j p nettles Banned

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    Same old, same old.
     
  8. John G

    John G Beach Fanatic

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    OK so the County Attorney, elected school board member just had a relative put in as CFO of the school district?

    Isn't his nice somehow also employed by Walton County in an important position????

    Am I crazy or is this a case for nepotism?

    I realize its a couple degrees of separation but his brother and sister are also reported to work for our $100+ million district.

    Someone please correct me...
     
  9. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    I think if you went with a no relatives working together policy in this county you'd have staffing problems overnight.
     
  10. DaleDalbey

    DaleDalbey Beach Fanatic

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    Better yet, if we told candidates they could not get family or cronies jobs or contracts, no one in the current crop would ever run for office. Hey, there's an idea.
     
  11. DaleDalbey

    DaleDalbey Beach Fanatic

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    Does it seem weird to anyone else that the "highly qualified" new CFO has to have a mentor from another county to teach her the ropes? I read it that Walton County has no one currently on staff to mentor her on the budget process. How long has Mrs. Anderson been superintendent? Mrs Anderson should not be expected to be a bookkeeper, but she should be able to know enough to lead her employees.
     
  12. John G

    John G Beach Fanatic

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    A supervisor needs to know something about all the divisions in an organization.

    Currently, the only qualification is that you got out of High School...

    Your post makes a good case for Hiring as opposed to Electing.
     
  13. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    No, actually it doesn't. Unless she's run a school districts finances before I think it's a great idea. Better than learning on the job like the last CFO.
     
  14. DaleDalbey

    DaleDalbey Beach Fanatic

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    If she has never run a school system's accounting and finances ( no experience in this are). How is she highly qualified? If we had an appointed superintendent who needed a mentor because they have never done a job like it before, you would be standing on the rooftop screaming about his/her competency.
     
  15. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    Completely different scenarios.

    First, this person is a CPA, her predecessor had a high school diploma.
    Second, one would assume that an appointed superintendent had experience in running a school district.
    Finally, there are probably some nuances that vary drastically from a hospital setting. Being a CPA doesn't automatically qualify you to be the CFO of anything and would probably require even basic things like using the states software which is probably circa 1950's era technology.
     
  16. DaleDalbey

    DaleDalbey Beach Fanatic

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    Given the hiring decision made with the previous CFO, it seems we are hanging our hats on the letters CPA. Lots of people have the letters DR. In front of their names, but a proctologist is not the same as a thoracic surgeon. All have specialities just like CPAs.
     
  17. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    Again the previous CFO got her job through attrition, i.e. hung around long enough. No disagreement that there are different specialties CPA's can have, hence the mentor.
     
  18. DaleDalbey

    DaleDalbey Beach Fanatic

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    My point is, I don't want my podiatrist to be given the job as a heart surgeon and then mentored to do it. I want my heart surgeon to have done it enough to do surgery with his eyes closed. That's how in define highly wualifie
     
  19. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    So how long should the school board go without a CFO so we can find someone with enough experience?

    At least with the superintendent issue the county has 2 years to define qualifications and then look for a replacement.
     
  20. DaleDalbey

    DaleDalbey Beach Fanatic

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    I don't know the answer to that question. I do know that the school board was informed of the hiring decision, they did not make it. Most people in business tell you not to hire out of panic because it leads to more panic down the road.
     

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