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Published: Friday, 12/29/2006

New treasurer is an in-house appointment

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Dan Romano III, the schools' chief business manager, has been named the new treasurer. Dan Romano III, the schools' chief business manager, has been named the new treasurer.
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The Toledo Board of Education yesterday named the school system's next treasurer, who will be charged with overseeing its $341 million budget.

Dan Romano III, who worked within the treasurer's division of Toledo Public Schools for 15 years and is now the district's chief business manager, will assume the job after he completes course work needed to reinstate his Ohio treasurer's license.

The vote to offer Mr. Romano a two-year contract was 4-0. Board member Steven Steel was not present for yesterday's 8 a.m. special meeting.

Board President Darlene Fisher said Mr. Romano has excellent qualifications and was highly recommended for the job.

"It's not an easy job," Ms. Fisher said. "We all will get the opportunity to learn to work with Mr. Romano."

The school system is predicting a $12.7 million deficit for next school year. The predicted shortfall for next school year could mean more school closings and layoffs to balance the budget, officials have said. The predictions are included in the district's five-year financial forecast, which is required annually of all Ohio school districts.

Mr. Romano will replace Treasurer James Fortlage, who retired Sept. 1 and is now the chief financial officer of the Cleveland Municipal School District.

He will be paid a $119,000 base salary plus $10,000 in annual longevity pay.

The board also agreed to retain the school system's interim treasurer, Daniel Griscom, to continue working part-time for $500 a week until Mr. Romano gets his Ohio treasurer's license.

Mr. Griscom last month accepted the treasurer's job with the Ashland, Ohio, school system, where he will be most of the time after Monday.

"I've agreed to assist the board here in my off time, like evenings and weekends," Mr. Griscom said. "I'll be off site and will monitor [Toledo] expenses and certify contracts for approval."

The board hired the Ohio School Boards Association in July to oversee the application process for its treasurer's job. It agreed to pay the association as much as $15,900 for the search - $5,900 in consulting fees and up to $10,000 in expenses. The district hasn't received a final invoice for the search.

Mr. Romano and Anthony Swartz, former treasurer of Anthony Wayne Local Schools, were the top two finalists.

Mr. Romano, 50, of Colony Drive in Toledo, was chief financial officer, treasurer, and business manager for Toledo Public Schools from March, 1989 to July, 1997. He received a masters of business administration from the University of Toledo in 1986.

Contact Ignazio Messina at:

imessina@theblade.com

or 419-724-6171.



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