September 30, 2014

Medina
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State auditor praises school districts’ clean books

The Ohio Auditor’s Office has recognized two Medina County school districts — Black River and Wadsworth — for keeping clean books.

The two districts were among seven singled out by state Auditor Dave Yost following the release Thursday of 31 audits of local governments and schools.

“While a school’s primary concern is its students, it must also remain accountable to taxpayers,” Yost said. “Accurate record-keeping is clearly a priority for Black River Local and Wadsworth City Schools, and I am proud to present these awards to the districts.”

Highland was the only Medina County school district to win the award last year.

A total of 198 school districts received the Auditor of State Award in 2013, according to Hailey Ysasi, spokeswoman for the auditor. Ohio has about 610 public school districts.

Criteria for the award include no findings for recovery of misappropriated or misused taxpayer dollars, no questioned costs or other financial red flags, and no comments related to ethics referrals or poor accounting practices.

Black River has not had a finding for recovery since the 1994-95 school year and Wadsworth hasn’t had any in that 20-year span, according to the auditor’s online database.

Officials from both districts say they are proud of their accounting and accountability.

“I think the board does an outstanding job of paying attention to what the expenditures are,” Black River Superintendent Janice Wyckoff said. “They’ve challenged the treasurer and myself to pay attention to what we’re spending and make sure that it balances with the educational needs of the students.”

Wadsworth Treasurer Doug Beeman said Wadsworth’s books are clear and so is the district’s financial outlook.

“Our finances are very strong. Our five-year forecast shows a positive balance through 2017,” he said. “I think there are two reasons why we haven’t had problems. One is having the right controls in place to alleviate any possibility of issues, and the other is the quality people we have working here, who understand how important it is to follow those policies and procedures.”

The Black River and Wadsworth audits are available at www.ohioauditor.gov.

Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or dpompili@medina-gazette.com.