Open Meeting Law, auditor general on Mingus Union agenda

Genie Gee Mingus Union Principal and Acting Superintendent

Genie Gee Mingus Union Principal and Acting Superintendent

COTTONWOOD – At Mingus Union’s January meeting, the district governing board discussed plans for its annual retreat, as well as an Open Meeting Law training.

Though the board still has no final date for the retreat, Susan Segal, the district’s attorney, will hold an Open Meeting Law training for the board at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Mingus Union Principal and Acting Superintendent Genie Gee said that Wednesday’s training “will allow participants to ask questions and become more familiar with open meeting law requirements.”

“We want all of our board members and administrative team to have an understanding of open meeting law and to operate in a manner consistent with legal requirements,” Gee said.

Following the Open Meeting Law training, the Mingus Union School Board could add “additional duties” to Mike Westcott’s administrative consulting contract, according to the agenda for the board’s 6 p.m. Wednesday regular meeting.

Mingus Union now in compliance with Uniform System of Financial Records

In an April 2018 letter, the Arizona Auditor General’s Office told Mingus Union that “significant deficiencies in internal controls” indicated that the district was not in compliance with the Uniform System of Financial Records – USFR – for the 2016-2017 school year.

Wednesday, Mingus Union Business Manager Lynn Leonard will tell the board that for the 2017-2018 school year, the district “has complied with the USFR.”

A Jan. 30 letter from the Arizona Auditor General states that Mingus Union “based solely on our review” of the district’s audit reports and a compliance questionnaire of the Uniform System of Financial Records is in compliance for the school year that ended on June 30, 2018.

Leonard said that the non-compliance from the 2016-2017 school year “is basically old news, the tail end of it.”

Former Mingus Union Business Manager Kirk Waddle, in an April 21 story in the Verde Independent, took responsibility for the deficiencies in internal controls.

“After nine consecutive years of receiving clean audits and nine awards for financial reporting excellence, I experienced a year in which the governing board hired three different superintendents,” Waddle said in April 2018 in an emailed statement to The Verde Independent. “I was simply spread too thin to be able to keep up with the requirements outlined in the Uniform System of Financial Records.”

Other items on Wednesday’s agenda include:

• The board could approve the renewal of an Intergovernmental Agreement with Yavapai College for dual enrollment courses for the 2018-2019 school year;

• The board could approve the renewal of an Intergovernmental Agreement with the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District for substitute reimbursement for Mingus Union coaches who are C-OC teachers, as well as C-OC coaches who are Mingus Union teachers;

• The board could approve contract renewals for Mingus Union’s certified teachers based on 2018-2019 salaries. According to the agenda, Gee “will present increases to salaries, budget permitting, at a later date.”

• The Mingus Union School Board is also expected to finalize a date for its annual retreat, which Gee said is to “provide our board with an overview of our district, gather input, and establish procedures for communication.”

Initially, Mingus Union planned to hold the meeting at the Verde Valley Business Assistance Center. According to Gee, the retreat will be held at Mingus Union High School “so we can be sure all our board members can log onto their school email accounts while we have tech support on campus.”

Mingus Union High School District governing board will meet at the school’s library, located at 1801 E. Fir St. in Cottonwood. Call (928) 634-0580 for more information.

The district will post a copy of the agenda no less than 24 hours before the meeting.

For the most up-to-date agenda, visit www.mingusunion.com/Governing_Board.

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42

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