PLYMOUTH – The school district has hired Ron Melnik as interim business manager, as school and town officials consider combining the school and town financial departments.
Earlier in the year Phillip Penn announced he would be leaving after three years as the board’s business manager to go to work for the Town of Canton as finance director for both town and school.
Superintendent Martin Semmel recently announced that Melnik had some overlap in the job before Penn left on March 1.
“I’m really happy and excited to be here,” Melnik told the Board of Education. “I’m looking forward to working with you. I’ve got about 15 years of experience in this particular area of school finance, and the rest of my career has also been in finance.”
“When Mr. Penn was moving on to Canton, there was also conversation with the town about if should we look at a particular model that shares the business manager,” Semmel said.
“The board has said they’re open to that but they want to have a better understanding of how that would work. There’s a lot of work that would have to go into both the town side and the board side to decide how that could work,” he said.
Semmel explained that, in the meantime, Melnik was actually officially hired by EdAdvance, which is the state-established regional education service center for western Connecticut.
“That’s how we were able to get him so quickly,” Semmel said. “So that gives us some flexibility in terms of timing. If the town and the board were able to make some decisions we could work with EdAdvance to see how it would work.”
“Mr. Melnik has hit the ground running,” he continued. “He is doing a great job. There’s a lot to learn when you come into a community so I can tell he’s doing his homework and doing it well.”
When Penn was preparing to leave, he had said Canton recently combined its finance departments and he would have to chance to work on creating a combined accounting software system. A lot of municipalities are heading in this direction, and especially for smaller districts it makes sense, he said.
Susan Corica can be reached at 860-973-1802 or firstname.lastname@example.org.