The resignation of Finance Officer Ruth Cocanougher has left Mercer County Schools in a limbo, where they are unable to either appoint a replacement or hire additional staff.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Back in September, the Mercer Board of Education approved a plan of succession for the finance officer. The measure, which was written by Cocanougher, structured the staff to include an interim finance officer at a salary of $65,000 a year (who would be replaced with a full-time finance officer at $77,000 a year), as well as two payroll clerks, one accounts payable clerk and an administrative assistant. Every position except for the last was a full-time position.
The idea behind the restructuring plan was to provide stability and continuity at one of the school’s key offices when Cocanougher retired.
However, Cocanougher resigned two weeks ago to take a position as finance officer at another school district, said Superintendent Dennis Davis.
The board found themselves unable to extend the finance officer position to Chantal L. Joyce, who has worked under Cocanougher as assistant finance officer.Joyce is still a year away from attaining her bachelor’s degree, which is a state-mandated requirement for the finance officer position.
Nor were they able to offer the interim finance officer position to Joyce because they did not know the pay scale for an interim finance officer.
To learn more, check out this week’s issue of The Harrodsburg Herald.