Business Leaders Back School District Financial Practices

Business Leaders Back School District Financial Practices
Posted on 10/01/2018
Business Leaders Back School District Financial Practices

Several Lee County business leaders gathered in support of the School District of Lee County Friday, September 28th in response to an operational audit that was released last week. “I stand by the District, how it is spending its money and the strides it is taking to educate our children,” said Brian Rist, CEO of Storm Smart.

The audit, which the School District strongly disputes questions how the District spent impact fees and property taxes. “The District has an operational audit done every three years,” said Will Prather, owner of the Broadway Palm Dinner Theater. “Using impact fees to pay down debt has never been a finding until now. By law, it is allowable, and as a business owner I will tell you it is the fiscally responsible thing to do.”

Three other audits have been completed this year, and all came back with positive reviews. The OPPAGA audit, which is required by state law since the School District has a half-cent sales tax referendum on the ballot, directly examined capital expenses. Nowhere in that audit was the use of impact fees questioned. The audit called the District “economical, effective and efficient.”

“This audit is an anomaly,” says former GMAC executive and current auditor Fred Atkins, “It is meant to cast the District in a negative light right before an important election that will impact our community and the future of its schools.”

Superintendent Dr. Greg Adkins thanked the business leaders for their support of the District’s financial practices. “At no time did the District mismanage funds,” Adkins says. “Every dollar the auditors questioned has been spent appropriately and by law.”