Berlin schools' business operations chief resigns for Region 8 job

Published on Sunday, 13 May 2018 21:01
Written by Charles Paullin

@CPaullinNBH

BERLIN - Now that Eva Gallupe, the school district’s director of business operations, has resigned, officials are considering consolidating her position within general government to save money.

Gallupe, who had held the job since July 2015, has accepted a position in Region 8, overseeing the high school and middle school that serve 1,500 students Andover, Hebron and Marlborough on one campus.

“I will miss the day-to-day operations and working with everyone, but I’m excited for my new venture,” said Gallupe.

After residents voted to reject both the proposed $43.9 million education and $45.6 million general government budgets, Mayor Mark Kaczynski said consolidating the position may be one way to save money on the school side.

School board President Matt Tencza, school board president, said Wednesday no one had approached him with the idea, but he was aware that it was being considered.

He said he would entertain discussion, but the district is looking to fill the position as soon as possible. Gallupe’s last day was April 30.

“It’s a $43 million-plus budget, it needs to be managed,” said Tencza.

He said the district has already begun advertising for the position and Kevin Delaney, the finance director, said some applications have already been received.

Delaney added that the town should proceed with caution with such a move, as the position does more than just look at the accounting and finances of the school district.

Managing the transportation aspects of the district - such as responding to accidents, finding alternative ways to transport children and notifying parents, while also managing security - is also part of the duties of the position, he said.

He added the savings would not be a 1:1 ratio, as additional help in the finance department would likely be needed to take on the responsibilities of the position, and compensation for adding responsibilities to other finance department employees may need to be adjusted.

“Eva does a lot. I’m not sure everyone appreciates the magnitude,” he said.

It would be up to the school board to decide if any external help should be used for its operations, he added, citing the Town Charter.

Still, Kaczynski said, consolidation should be looked at before someone fills the vacancy, even if it means as little as $25,000 in savings.

“It’s tough times,” he said.

Sam Lomaglio, chairman of the Board of Finance, said he does not support the consolidation since the position requires keeping up on state mandates, and that would be too much work for Delaney.

He said the finance board had looked at doing such a thing in the 1990s but decided it was not possible, and the current finance board would not support adding a position to the Finance Department.

He and Delaney both echoed their statements at a recent finance board meeting. Delaney said then that consolidation of the IT department may create efficiencies but not much savings.

Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or cpaullin@centralctcommunciations.com.



Posted in New Britain Herald, Berlin on Sunday, 13 May 2018 21:01. Updated: Sunday, 13 May 2018 21:04.