(Posted Jan. 14, 2019)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Madison-Plains Local Schools is looking for a new athletic director.
On Jan. 3, the school board accepted Matt Mason’s resignation, effective Jan. 31. The vote was 3-0 with board President Mark Mason, Matt’s brother, abstaining from the vote. Board member Cory Coburn was absent.
In making the motion to accept the resignation, board member Kelly Cooley said, “We thank him for his service.”
Mason has worked for Madison-Plains for 13 years.
When asked why Mason resigned, Superintendent Chad Eisler said, “Personnel matters are not public record.”
Eisler said he is hopeful the district will have a new athletic director in place by Feb. 1. While the position serves the whole district, the primary focus is junior high and high school sports programs.
The school district has taken out a short-term $1 million loan from Huntington Bank in the form of a tax anticipation note. The district ended 2018 with a cash balance of $55,000. The loan, said Treasurer Todd Mustain, will allow the district to cover January’s payroll and operational costs.
Mustain said this is the first time in many years the district has needed to take out such a loan.
“It’s a cash flow thing,” Mustain said.
The district had been eating away at its general fund balance year after year, resulting in tight finances. Voters passed an income tax levy in November that became effective Jan. 1, but income tax collection takes 18 months to ramp up to full steam. Also, there’s a gap between the end of the year and the receipt of property taxes. While the district ended the year in the black, the cash balance wasn’t enough to cover January’s expenses.
Mustain said he anticipates receiving $3.5 million in property taxes and hopes to pay back the $1 million loan by March 1. If that happens, the interest paid on the loan will be $5,000.
Despite the cash flow issue, Mustain said the district’s finances are looking good. Revenues are up a little over what they were last year at this time, and expenses are 1 percent lower than last year due to budget reductions. He expects the district to end the fiscal year in June with a $2 million cash balance.
“The future looks bright. We did make it through this low point, by the skin of our teeth,” Mustain said.
“We really appreciate everybody’s hard work in keeping expenditures down,” Mark Mason said.
Eisler continues his Listen & Learn tour, holding informal, open meetings to talk with and answer questions from the public about the school district.
The next meetings are scheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 15 at the Stokes Township/South Solon Fire Department, 7105 E. Main St., South Solon, and 7 p.m. Jan. 17 at the Union Township Hall, 2250 State Rte. 56, London.
Once Eisler schedules a meeting in Oak Run Township, he will have visited all of the townships in the school district. He said he also wants to meet with a couple of other organizations in the area, too, for input.
Annual organizational meeting
Prior to the regular meeting, the board held its annual organizational meeting. Mark Mason was named board president for 2019; Anthoula Xenikis was named vice president.
Board liaison and committee appointments are:
* Legislative liaison to the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA)–Kelly Cooley; Cory Coburn, alternate;
* Student achievement liaison to the OSBA–Cooley;
* Insurance committee–Xenikis and Bob Butz;
* District board policy review committee–Coburn and Xenikis;
* District athletic council–Xenikis;
* Communication committee–Coburn and Cooley;
* Facilities and grounds committee–Butz and Mason;
* Academic advisory committee–Xenikis;
*Financial advisory committee–Butz and Mason;
The board’s remaining regular meetings for the year, all of which will start at 7 p.m. and take place in the district meeting room at the elementary building, are as follows: Feb. 9, March 19, April 16, May 21, June 18, July 16, Aug. 20 Sept. 10, Oct. 15, Nov. 19 and Dec. 10.