Equal Time: Embattled school administrator defends his record

Before the Riverhead school board considers terminating me at its meeting Tuesday night, effectively ending my career as a school business official, I would like to list some of the cost savings I have generated for the taxpayers of Riverhead. First, I should receive some acknowledgement for initiating the bond refund (or refinance) process for the district’s 2002 bonds.  Moody’s upgraded the district after they reviewed our financials and talked to me for over an hour on a conference call. Through this the district will save $443,000 over 8 years.

Other area of savings over the last 2 years:

• Pre-K grant. This grant was administered by then-deputy superintendent Nancy Carney in 2008. The district was applying for $166,000 of the  $266,000 alloted by the state. Mr. Carney was leaving $100,00 “on the table.” During a high level review, I suggested that district provided transportation costs could legally be charged to the grant which would result in a $100,000 savings from the general fund. Ms. Carney thought that this would not be allowed by the state but it was and the district will have saved $300,000 over this three-year period.

• Jail education billing errors. By researching invoices and meeting with members of the state Department of Education. In Albany, I discovered that charges of approximately $50,000 a year were being erroneously billed to Riverhead. Student inmates considered homeless were being classified a Riverhead residents and the district was being charged. This practice has now ended.

• Review of state aid that district receives for transportation costs. I have been conducting a review with Amala Cain and believe the Riverhead district will receive an additional $300,000 in transportation aid in 2012.

I believe I have also saved at least an additional $500,000 by purchasing off of State Contracts and by joining the Long Island Child Nutrition Co-op.  I feel I have made great strides at Riverhead in the areas of cost savings and cost control. I haven’t even addressed the area of special education costs and Medicaid reimbursement. There is still a lot of work to do and I am willing to do it. I believe the taxpayers, students and staff feel I am a good fit for Riverhead.

Too bad the superintendent and board don’t see it that way.

I also was responsible for bringing in the “bold systems” election management tool that computerized the election process for the district. This helped the district clerk  to get away from the old paper books. The district can now track who voted in each election in real time. It is also a great tool to have during close elections.

I am a worker who gets things done. I admit that I do need to improve my skills at office politics.

Mr. Ivanoff of Lindenhurst is the deputy superintendent of finance in Riverhead schools. He was dismissed from his post Dec. 1. His recommended termination will be voted on at the Jan. 11 school board meeting.

See previous coverage:

Embattled school administrator: Fire me and I’ll sue

Ex-Riverhead schools boss takes assistant superintendent post