WILLISTON, ND (KUMV) – The Williston Basin School District is now without a full-time business manager, leaving in question how it will manage its finances.
On Monday, the Williston Basin School Board voted unanimously to accept the resignation of business manager Sherri Heser. The move is just the latest setback for those who want exact details on the district’s finances.
“As a stakeholder, it has been a very frustrating year. It’s been a long year of waiting and waiting for answers on board and district finances,” said Dawn Hollingsworth, former president of Williams County School District 8.
Heser came under intense scrutiny as a business manager, dealing with financial discrepancies before the reorganization that led to difficulties in budget planning. Expecting deficit spending in the 2021 school year, she told board members on July 11 that conservative spending and additional revenue had led the district’s general fund to drop from $20 million to 24 million. millions of dollars.
However, board members were unhappy with Heser’s lack of detail and explanation of exactly how they ended up in the dark. Board Chairman Chris Jundt declined to comment on the accuracy of this report.
“Once we are satisfied that the financial statements are well placed and accurate, we will make sure to release them as soon as possible,” Jundt said.
The superintendent, Dr. Richard Faidley, will serve as interim. While some have expressed concern that it may be too much for one person to handle, he said he has experience handling the budgetary aspects.
“I am extremely confident that we will ensure the District continues to be good stewards of the District’s budget and finances,” Faidley said.
This district is also facing a state audit, primarily focused on a nearly $2 million discrepancy with Williston Public School District #1 before the merger. Faidley is expected to speak with the state auditor on Tuesday, but it remains to be seen how that affects the audit schedule.
Heser is the third official to resign since the district’s reorganization. Former superintendent Dr. Jeff Thake and former board member Thomas Kalil both resigned in December.
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