July 24, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Medina Schools treasurer takes job in Avon (updated w/ contract)

Medina Schools treasurer Jim Hudson turned in his resignation Tuesday to accept a job with the Avon Local school district in Lorain County.

“Mr. Hudson has been a valued colleague and friend at Medina City Schools,” Medina school board President Karla Robinson said. “He has worked tirelessly to help this district continue to be fiscally responsible, while keeping our educational goals at the forefront of his agenda. We wish him only the best in his future endeavors.”

Jim Hudson

Hudson is also treasurer for Cloverleaf Local Schools through a shared services agreement with the Medina school board. The Cloverleaf district pays Medina schools $72,000 a year for treasurer services, and Hudson receives $19,000 of that amount, in addition to his base salary.

The Avon school board unanimously approved a 3½-year contract for Hudson, effective Dec. 16 through July 31, 2017, at a special meeting Monday.

The board also appointed Hudson as interim treasurer beginning Dec. 1. Avon Superintendent Mike Laub said the interim appointment was a “technical thing,” because under Ohio law, the district needs a treasurer, but he expected Hudson would continue working for Medina for the next two weeks.

Hudson will be paid an annual salary at Avon of $112,000. Laub said Hudson’s contract does not include an annuity or performance bonus and includes 260 workdays a year, as well as 20 vacation days and health care benefits.

The Avon school board began searching to fill the post after treasurer Kent Zeman announced a couple months ago that he would resign to become treasurer of Lakewood City Schools on Dec. 1.

The board met with four semifinalists, including Hudson.

“We’re excited to have Jim aboard,” Laub said. “We think he’s going to be a great fit here in Avon.”

Hudson’s appointment in Avon came a week after the Medina school board delayed a vote on a new contract for him after a public backlash over the timing of the contract — just after Medina district voters passed a levy.

In response, the board scaled back the contract, changing it from a five-year to a three-year agreement and removing a 5 percent bonus based on revenue generated by shared services agreements. Hudson’s new contract with Medina would have paid him a base salary of $97,241.

Robinson confirmed that the board knew Hudson had been interviewing with Avon.

“Good treasurers are in high demand in the state of Ohio,” she said.

Hudson said he was “extremely grateful” for the opportunity provided by the shared services agreement, saying it made him a better treasurer to work with the staffs in both the Medina and Cloverleaf districts. At the same time, he said he looked forward to his new job in Avon.

“Avon is an up-and-coming district,” Hudson said. “They’re growing each year.”

When asked if the community response to his new contract with Medina played a role in his leaving the district, Hudson said, “The outside influences didn’t influence my final decision.”

The Medina school board’s next work session will be 6:30 p.m. Monday at Medina High School’s Distance Learning Lab, and the board will discuss plans to find an interim treasurer.

Cloverleaf Superintendent Daryl Kubilus said he wasn’t sure yet how Hudson’s departure from Medina would affect the shared services agreement.

Though he has not yet spoken to the Cloverleaf board, he said he would talk about the change at Tuesday’s meeting.

“For the short term, no it does not mean Cloverleaf will be without a treasurer,” Kubilus said. “He (Hudson) understands that when you’re with two districts, it’s difficult to replace that. We’re going to continue working with him in the near future.”

Kubilus said Hudson was instrumental in developing the shared services agreement with Cloverleaf, and he said he would look into the possibility of retaining Hudson’s services, while stressing that the Cloverleaf board would make the decision.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.