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New treasurer picked for Bay schools

BAY VILLAGE – The Bay Village Board of Education Monday hired Kevin D. Robertson, currently the Sandusky City School’s treasurer, to serve as the district treasurer, beginning in August.

Robertson will replace longtime district Treasurer Deborah Putnam. Robertson, a CPA, comes with strong skills for the job, Bay officials said.

“Kevin’s organizational skills are strong,” said Bay Village Board of Education President Bill Selong. “His management style shows an attention to detail that will be very important as we move into a new school year with all three of our very experienced treasurer’s office staff members retiring.”

Board of education members traveled to Sandusky for a visit with Robertson’s colleagues and to get a sense of how his experience there would fit with Bay Village’s needs.

“He demonstrates the same commitment to transparency that we as a board insist upon,” said Bob Piccirilli, vice president. “His integrity is illustrated by the reports he offers on his website and the recognition he has received from professional organizations and from the state auditor’s office.”

A graduate of Marietta College with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, Robertson began his career in the private sector. After earning his certified public accountant credential in 1993, he went on to work as assistant director of fiscal affairs for the Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional

Development District in 1995. In 1998, Robertson was named treasurer for the Switzerland of Ohio Local School District, the district where he grew up. He moved to the treasurer’s position at Sandusky City Schools in 2008, where he was recognized with the Government Finance Officers Association Certificate of Achievement for Excellence for Financial Reporting (2009-2012), the Association of School Business Professionals’ Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting (2009-2012) and the Ohio Auditor of State Award with Distinction (2009-2012).

Robertson said that the Sandusky district faced many financial challenges in the last six years, including changes in state funding, unfunded mandates, declining enrollment and a changing tax base.

“Our district’s administrative team has made many tough decisions and managed to reduce expenditures while limiting the impact on the educational opportunities and experiences for students. I’m very proud of the way we’ve handled those issues,” he said. As part of his strategy toward efficient use of tax dollars, Robertson implemented many advancements in the fiscal operations of the district, including online payments for parents, electronic management of employee leave requests and streamlining of the purchasing process.

Robertson has been active in the Sandusky district’s community as a member of the local Rotary Club, Masons, Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Association and the Erie County Conservation League. He has coached elementary and junior high basketball and Little League baseball. He is also a founding member of the Monroe County Community Foundation.

“I am pleased that Kevin has a job history that includes not just expertise in the school finance area, but stability and long-term commitment to his employers,” said Clint Keener, superintendent of the Bay Village City School District. “I look forward to working with him as we face increasing state reporting requirements and new challenges to continue operating at the highest levels of excellence while holding down costs.”

Selong noted that the district’s search consultant, Finding Leaders, brought a wide selection of treasurer candidates to the board, with members ultimately interviewing five applicants. “Kevin stood out, first, because he was the only candidate with the CPA, and second, because he has needed to track some truly complex fund structures in his current position. We were impressed with his careful approach to communicating those issues to his colleagues.”

District officials noted that they were aware of an incident several years ago involving Robertson’s use of profanity in an e-mail in response to a personal family matter, which resulted in his serving first a paid, then unpaid suspension by the Sandusky district. But, officials noted, it involved a highly personal family matter for Robertson, prompting his strong response. Bay officials noted the Sandusky board had given Robertson a new three-year contract shortly after the incident, indicating the matter had not been an issue that caused long-term problems.

Robertson will be involved in hiring new staff for the Bay Village treasurer’s department, and he will spend some time with Putnam in making a transition to the new job, which begins Aug. 1.

“My goals will include continuing the solid fiscal management and transparency maintained by Mrs. Putnam,” said Robertson. “I’ll work to ensure that all programs and projects of the Bay Village school system move forward while maximizing the use of our resources. Bay Village is well-recognized as having outstanding academics and strong community support for its school system, and I am delighted to become part of such a great community. Continuing my career in Bay Village is a professional pinnacle of achievement for me.”

Associate Editor Jeff Gallatin

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