The city of Staunton VA was recently highlighted in a VirginiaBusiness.com article on how they were able to consolidate their CFO positions and save money. This was done as a necessity 5 years ago during the recession but they have kept it as just one position to this date. The Staunton school district is approximately the same size as FCCPS.
Staunton has 2636 school children, spends $10,965 per child and has a tax rate of .95 cents for $100.
Falls Church has 2421 school children, spends $17,109 per child and has a tax rate of $1.31 for $100
If we would consolidate just our CFO we could save $171,500 plus benefits of $68,000 for a total of $240,100
From the 7/28/2015 Article by Gary Robertson titled “Adapting to change, CFOs recount adjustments they have made since the Great Recession”
Jeanne Colvin, director of finance for the city of Staunton since 1992, is also the CFO of the city schools.
“I don’t know of anybody else who does this,” she says.
The arrangement began about five years ago when the school superintendent and the school system’s finance director left in the same year.
The school system asked Colvin if she, on an emergency basis, could help put together the school budget. She agreed. Since then, with some restructuring in the city’s finance office, she has kept both jobs.
Colvin says that the move was not directly caused by the recession, which depressed property values and municipal revenues, but there was a link.
Every year since the recession hit, the city annually has looked for ways to trim the payroll when someone retires or leaves. “We eliminated 26 positions [citywide] between 2009 and 2013. We’re slowly recovering,” Colvin says.
When she’s not balancing the budgets of the city and the schools, Colvin and her husband are busy raising their grandchildren, following the death of their son a decade ago.
Colvin says she tried to balance her life the way she balances budgets. “I tell my boss I’ll retire when I stop having fun. As long as I can laugh, I’m OK,” she says.