Reynoldsburg schools Superintendent Steve Dackin announced last week that a finance and accountability committee is being formed to take a look at the district's finances and provide feedback.

Reynoldsburg schools Superintendent Steve Dackin announced last week that a finance and accountability committee is being formed to take a look at the district's finances and provide feedback.

Dackin will appoint a "standing committee" of eight to 10 people who hold a variety of opinions and perspectives about the district's financial situation.

"It's got to be a working committee of people who can roll up their sleeves," he said. "We are going to open up our books and say, 'here it is. If you can find ways we can do things more efficiently, we're all about that, but we're going to be accountable to the public and transparent in our process so that people see what we're doing and how we're doing it.'

"The committee is going to be a diverse committee made up of people who maybe don't agree with the schools and I think that is important," he said.

Dackin said committee members will act as advisers to him and new treasurer Tammy Miller. The idea is to eventually make recommendations to the school board.

"I think we need to hear from people who believe that additional revenue may not be needed for our school district because that deepens the conversation for us and we'll understand perspective and perceptions," Dackin said. "I look forward to those people scrutinizing the books and making a case for Reynoldsburg city schools."

The concept of such a committee was suggested by board member Chip Martin during the board's May meeting, soon after voters rejected a request for a 15.6-mill operating levy.

The loss forced the district to implement $11-million in cuts for the next school year.

"It might be a good idea to organize a financial accountability advisory group in an effort to better educate the community about the financial situation the district is in and also receive input from the committee members to see if other solutions can be proposed," Martin said.

"We have a superintendent advisory committee, we have a teacher focus group, a student focus group, and we have all of these different committees where we get different aspects of people that are affected within the school system and take their feedback and kind of check the climate and how they see the world," he said.

New treasurer Tammy Miller said the concept would be for the advisory group to hold monthly meetings with her where she could open the district's books and field questions from the committee while educating them about the district's financial situation.

Miller has 22 years of accounting and treasurer experience, including 17 as treasurer of the West Muskingum Local school district. She will start her job in Reynoldsburg on Aug. 17.

"I want to communicate how school funding works for Reynoldsburg and get input from the community about their thoughts on levies, finances, and what kinds of things they would like to have communicated to them in a open dialogue so there is transparency in what we get," Miller said. "I want to know what people are thinking and what information they feel that they need and the questions they have."

dowen@thisweeknews.com