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District Treasurer Pursues Opportunity With Eastern Cuyahoga County School District





(July 30, 2019) Lorain City School District Treasurer Joshua Hill has announced he will be leaving in August to pursue opportunities with the South Euclid-Lyndhurst City School District.


Hill, who began his tenure with Lorain City Schools on July 1, 2016, will serve as treasurer of the eastern Cuyahoga County school district.


During his three years as treasurer of Lorain City Schools, Hill worked alongside administrators to remove the district from fiscal watch for the first time since 2007, collectively bringing it out of a financial crisis, and on to a path of solvency.


Hill, who also served as chief strategy and innovation officer under the helm of current district Chief Executive Officer David Hardy Jr., noted the district’s fiscal solvency faces ‘tough times ahead’ due to the unknown status of future renewal levies for the district.


Despite levy uncertainties, Hill did say there is a bright spot to focus on.


Citing the current May 2019 five-year forecast, Hill noted Lorain City Schools would see a $3.1 million carryover through 2021 with the renewal levy’s passage.


But without its passage in November, Lorain City Schools could potentially see a $278,000 shortfall in 2021, Hill cautioned.


The district’s board of education has until 4 p.m., Aug. 7, to vote and file the paperwork necessary to put a renewal levy on the 2019 ballot, if voters are going to be given an opportunity to cast their votes on the matter, during the Nov. 5 general election.


Without action from the school board, the uncertainty of the district’s financial future is eminent.


Undeterred by these concerns, Hill said he remains optimistic that the team he has worked so closely with for three school years will hold fast on its positive trajectory.


“I’m confident that the finance team at Lorain City Schools will continue the great work of continued fiscal responsibility,” Hill said. “I have no doubts that the finance department within Lorain City Schools will maintain the same level of financial accountability and cost cutting measures that have been done, during my time here, and under previous treasurers within the district.”


 Under Hill’s leadership it is acknowledged the district has moved out of fiscal warning; received an award for sustaining clean audits; and maintained a healthy budget where it has ended the past two years with a small surplus because of excellent spending habits, cost effective practices and using funds appropriately at all times.


Hill’s department earned Ohio Auditor of State Keith Faber’s Auditor of State Award on April 30, 2019 for its clean audit reports. The district was one of just 55 districts/community schools in the state of Ohio, and one of just three districts/academies in Lorain County to receive this distinguished recognition.


In the coming weeks, as Hill transitions out of his role within the district, Hardy said his top priority is to maintain that strong fiscal standing—that has been established by Hill and his team. During that time state auditors will perform a supplemental audit, alongside the standard yearly audit, to address concerns raised.


Hardy said he acknowledges the voice of the community and Academic Distress Commission, and wholeheartedly believes through such audit, the level of financial transparency that has been established will continue to assure processes rooted are, and remain strong.


During that process, Hardy said his administrative team will collaborate with the district’s school board to identify the best process in the selection of Hill’s successor, as the role of treasurer is a vital position in regards to the future successes of both the district and board.


“We will continue to do right by the children of Lorain, and will lean on the supplemental and yearly audit to springboard our fiscal strength into the future, for the sake of the entire district and community,” Hardy said.


Upon hearing of Hill’s departure, Hardy wished the district treasurer the best going forward, and said he sees a great treasurer doing great things for another school district. Hardy noted his appreciation of Hill’s work, and ability to operate within a “space of great ambiguity.”


“We thank Treasurer Hill for the work he and his team have accomplished over the past three school years, and acknowledge the impact that work has, and will continue to have on this school district,” Hardy said of his former treasurer.


“Knowing Mr. Hill had to often make comments on topics that put him in uncomfortable positions, his consistency as it relates to our strong financial standing and honest and transparent utilization of district funding is admirable.” Hardy added.


Results of the audit and the naming of Hill’s replacement will be forthcoming.