Olentangy Valley News

Dublin's Kern will be Olentangy's new treasurer

Current interim treasurer Todd Johnson: No hard feelings

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A new treasurer will take over the Olentangy Local School District's books in July.

At their June 18 meeting, school board members approved a three-year, $370,500 contract for Brian Kern. He will replace former treasurer Rebecca Jenkins, who left in February and now serves as treasurer in the New Albany-Plain Local School District.

Kern, who will continue to serve as assistant treasurer at Dublin City Schools through June, was chosen from among a dozen applicants brought forward to the district by the Ohio School Boards Association. Of those applicants, five were interviewed.

Prior to his 10-year tenure with Dublin City Schools, Kern worked in the state auditor's office, performing audits on school districts and municipalities for five years. He spent the next two years conducting audits for local businesses.

Kern is a member of the Ohio Government Finance Officers Association board of trustees and an officer for the central chapter of the Ohio Association of School Business Officials. He is a Heidelberg University alumnus.

"Brian's strong technical skills, broad base of experience in municipal finance and collaborative style makes him the right fit for where our district is and where we want to go in the future," board President Kevin O'Brien said in a prepared statement.

The board voted 4-1 to hire Kern. Board member Adam White cast the sole "no" vote.

In a February meeting, White and board member Dave King voted against searching for a new treasurer. White asked fellow board members at that time to simply promote Assistant Treasurer Todd Johnson.

Johnson has been serving as the interim treasurer since February.

"My primary disagreement is the waste of time and money caused by overlooking the internal candidate," White said, explaining his vote.

The board agreed to pay the Ohio School Boards Association $6,400 to assist in the candidate search. That total doesn't include travel expenses incurred during the two rounds of interviews.

"(The other board members) wanted to give a fair process to other candidates and I just didn't feel that was necessary, because what's the point of the assistant treasurer if not to become a possible replacement of the former treasurer?" White asked. "I thought it was a no-brainer."

In July, Johnson will return to his assistant treasurer position. He said despite White's concerns, there are no hard feelings between him and Kern.

"I know Brian, and both being assistant treasurers, we would bounce ideas off one another from time to time," Johnson said, "so I think we're going to continue to have a good working relationship."

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