By Dedra Cordle
At its Dec. 11 meeting, the South-Western City Schools board of education unanimously approved a 2 percent increase in the salaries of Superintendent Dr. Bill Wise and Treasurer Hugh Garside.
According to the board, the salary increases were determined during their individual end-of-the-year performance review. Members cited their leadership skills and fiscal prudence as some of the factors that played into their decision to raise their salaries.
“I feel that we have the best superintendent and treasurer in the county, if not the state,” said board vice-president Lee Schreiner.
He said that the graduation rates have risen throughout the years under the direction of Wise and are now at “an all-time high.”
He also added that under his direction, as well as Garside’s, the district undertook an extensive and expensive building project and it was completed “on time and under budget.”
“That was just phenomenal,” Schreiner said, referring to the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, which oversaw the replacement of 13 elementary schools, the renovation of two elementary schools and a new Franklin Heights High School building.
The salary increase will go into effect Jan. 1, 2018. Under the new terms, Wise’s base salary will be $192,944 and Garside’s base salary will be $158,732.
Wise has been the superintendent of the district since 2007 and Garside has served as treasurer since 2007 as well.
In other news, the district’s annual financial review from fiscal year 2016/17 was presented by Garside.
According to the treasurer, the district completed the fiscal year in strong financial standing.
His report stated that the district’s revenues were up 4.1 percent from the previous fiscal year and they ended with a total of $259,040,676 in its general fund revenue. He also said that the state allocated $8.2 million more to the district than the previous fiscal year. The district receives 51 percent of its general fund revenue from state funding.
The report also stated that the fiscal year’s general fund expenditure was $235,146,716, a rise of 5 percent from the previous fiscal year and there was a positive cash balance. His Oct. 17 five-year forecast predicted the district would continue to see positive cash balances throughout that duration.
Garside said the annual financial review, both the abbreviated version and the 169 page document, are available for viewing on the district’s website at www.swcsd.us.