December 22, 2014

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Lorain Schools treasurer leaving

LORAIN – Lorain Schools Treasurer Ryan Ghizzoni is leaving the district after just eight months and will take a similar position with the Fairview Park Schools.

Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson said it “will be a great loss for the district,” and it is up to the school board to decide how to replace him.
“He`s a smart, smart treasurer, conscientious and very qualified,” Atkinson said.

It was Ghizzoni who alerted the schools of a looming $15 million deficit unless it laid off more than 240 teachers over the summer – about a third of the teaching staff. Since then, more than 70 teachers have been recalled.

It`s a blow to the district, according to incoming school board member Paul Biber and outgoing board member Dina Ferrer, who did not win re-election.

“It`s not a good situation,” Biber said. “The last thing we need to do is look for a new treasurer – there`s no upside of it.”

Ferrer said Ghizzoni and his wife are expecting a baby, and Fairview Park is closer to their home in the Stow area.

Ghizzoni is in his late 20s and earned about $105,000 in his Lorain job, Atkinson said. He is reportedly going to be earning less in his new position, according to Ferrer and Biber. Ghizzoni could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Biber said he examined Ghizzoni`s contract, and there is no requirement that Ghizzoni get permission from the board before seeking another job.

Atkinson, who came to the district over the summer, is required to seek permission from the school board if she looks for another job, Biber said.

Neither Ferrer nor Biber would speculate on whether the district would hire an interim treasurer or immediately embark on a search for a new treasurer.

Ghizzoni, who was hired by Fairview Park in a 4-0 vote on Tuesday, is expected to formally resign at Monday`s Lorain school board meeting, Atkinson said.

Also on Monday, Ferrer said the board will likely discuss how to proceed upon finding a replacement for Ghizzoni.

Atkinson said finances for the Lorain Schools will be stable in 2008 but there is a possible deficit beyond that time and the schools may seek a levy. Ghizzoni reported to the board on Oct. 22 that the year-end balance will be less than $500,000 in 2009 and the district will be in the red in 2010.

Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or cleise@chroniclet.com.