By Crystal Burns
With a unanimous vote Feb. 11, the Trenton Special School District board extended Director of Schools Tim Haney’s contract through Aug. 31, 2022.
Dr. Mark Harper, board chairman, said the two-year extension doesn’t change Haney’s compensation or benefits package. In September 2017, the parties agreed to a three-year contract with a base salary of $103,000 per year. Haney receives the same annual increase as teachers, and his contract includes a transportation/automobile allowance of $250 per month for travel expenses within the school district, $100 per month phone allowance, and $250/month for an annuity.
Haney’s initial contract was set to expire July 1, 2020. In a separate vote, the board approved amending his current contract to set a termination date of Aug. 31 instead of July 1. Harper said under the original language, the board had only hired Haney for 2 years and 10 months instead of a full year.
With the amendment, Haney’s new contract officially starts on Sept. 1 of this year.
Noting the lengthy agenda in front of them, Haney said he would talk to board member about the extension more in the future.
“It’s greatly appreciated, and we’ll keep working,” he said.
Marcie Williams, CPA with Alexander Thompson Arnold, presented the district’s audits. Auditors annually review all internal school funds as well as the district account. Williams reported no findings or a “clean” audit in the district account.
Williams complimented the Central Office financial staff, including Finance Director Tammy Smith and Human Resources/Payroll Director Shannon Parra.
“That is a very big deal and something that definitely needs to be celebrated,” Williams said. “There is a lot of activity that goes through this school district, and these ladies do a wonderful job of watching over everything.”
Audits did note findings in the internal school funds, which Williams said is common due to the specific, strict regulations the state has set. Findings included gift card accountability, accountability related to fundraisers, deposit errors, control over credit card and charge accounts, and collections. She also noted issues that aren’t severe enough to be considered findings but that auditors want to see school staff improve. Those included reconciliation of vending collections, accounting for start-up change, failure to pay sales tax, lack of dual signatures, and transfer of restricted fund balances.
Williams said the schools had responded to some of the findings and issues and has already taken corrective action. She also noted that the schools had corrected both findings from the last audit.
Resolution to refinance bonds
Scott Gibson, senior vice president of Cumberland Securities in Knoxville, explained changes to a resolution the board approved in December. Gibson said after discussions with bond counsel, he “tweaked some language” in the resolution to incorporate a parity pass. Gibson said it’s “bond geek stuff” and said the new resolution would void the one passed in December.
There is still about $1.6 million in savings projected, and refinancing is not to exceed $21 million. The December resolution was not to exceed $20 million.
The board unanimously approved the new resolution.
In his director’s report, Haney announced the forthcoming retirement of Patti Wright, the district’s ESL director. Prior to her role with ESL, Wright taught Spanish at Peabody High School.
“I’ve talked [her] out of retiring for the last time,” Haney said. “She’s been great for the district. It’s been outstanding what she can do with young people.”
Haney reminded the board that it’s an election year for two seats. Voters will go to the polls Aug. 6 to choose a 4-year city representative and 4-year outside city limits representative. Harper and Doug Smith currently hold the seats.
Petitions are available at the Gibson County Election Commission in the courthouse. Qualifying deadline is Wednesday, April 2 at noon. For more information, call 731-855-7669 or visit gibsonelections.com.