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Six months later, Hernando schools no closer to finding a new chief financial officer



Hernando County School District ’s top financial job has been vacant for nearly a half a year since chief financial officer Desiree Henegar suddenly resigned in January.

And it doesn’t look like the position will be filled any time soon.

Heather Martin, the district’s executive director of business services, told School Board members Tuesday afternoon that the district’s most recent search – it’s third in a row – did not net a qualified candidate.

“We do not have a CFO at this point,” Martin told the board, “and it hasn’t been for a lack of trying.”

Since January, the district has posted, advertised and interviewed three times for the position.

During the first round, she said the search committee spent a great deal of time interviewing candidates who met the job description. It quickly became clear that those without school district or governmental experience “were really not even able to answer the basic questions,” she said.

The committee didn’t recommend a candidate, so they started again.

The second search landed John Wilkinson.

Although he was named to the position in April, he was forced to withdraw before he even started due to an illness in his family and a desire to return to Ohio to be closer to loved ones.

The third search also ended when the search decided not to recommend a candidate.

So why’s it so tough?

Martin said the district pays a comparable salary to other districts for similar positions.

“I don’t know that salary is necessarily the roadblock that we are seeing,” she said. “[The CFO position] is a very specialized area … we just found that none of the applicants we were looking at possessed enough experience to be able to do that.”

Martin said the district will not post the job for a fourth time until new superintendent Lori Romano arrives on July 1, "and we have a time to talk to her and explore some other options for the position."

In the meantime, the district's finances and upcoming 2013-14 budget are being handled in-house by existing staff. Board members on Tuesday praised their hard work - and even asked if they might be able to increase their pay for all the extra responsibilities.

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 6:21pm]


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