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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Former Mehlville Superintendent Tim Ricker "incapable of acting in the best interest of the district’s residents"

Editorial: Inadequate leadership requires D-113A change

Lemont Reporter
Posted Aug 26, 2011 @ 10:56 AM

Lemont, IL — Questionable financial practices have plagued the Lemont-Bromberek Combined School District 113A Board of Education for several years.

For one, the School Board must go through Lemont High School District 210 to obtain tax anticipation warrants to cover short-term expenses. In addition, the district was placed on the financial difficulty list in 2009 by the Illinois State Board of Education.

While the district shows a budget surplus for the coming school year, the kind of shoddy bookkeeping that has caused headaches in the past have persisted. The School Board took nearly a month to reconcile a deficit of $329,000 in the Education Fund.

The dilemma stemmed from a request for the board to retroactively approve revenue transfers between several funds. The fiscal year ended June 30, and the deficit needed to be resolved.

The board adopted a modified accrual accounting method last week to reconcile the deficit. Officials recently issued a press release on why the Education Fund showed a deficit. The explanation of what transpired still raises questions, ones we’ll address in the weeks to come.

Superintendent Tim Ricker has presided over a district that strains credibility with such repeated incompetence. An ugly divide has long existed on the board among members who support Ricker and those who don’t.

Ricker has been evasive and misleading about the financial problems the district has experienced. The district will never gain the trust of the broader Lemont community until it shows that it’s handling its financial issues effectively. Since Ricker continues to shield these errors from public view, he has shown himself  'incapable of acting in the best interest of the district’s residents".

Given the ongoing mismanagement, here’s an idea that should unite everyone on the School Board. The time has come for a leadership change at District 113A.

Copyright 2011 Lemont Reporter. Some rights reserved

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