MARIETTA - The Washington County Career Center board eliminated an administrative position Tuesday in an effort to decrease a projected deficit in spending in the new fiscal year.
The board voted 6-0, with member Karen Burton absent, to eliminate the career supervisor position and reassign Rhonda Knoch, who has held that job for more than a decade, as a computer graphics teacher. Her annual salary was $77,982, and Treasurer Joe Crone said that amount plus benefits will erase more than half of the nearly $180,000 deficit he's predicted.
The career supervisor's duties included marketing efforts and coordination of visits to the school by eighth- and 10th-graders in the county's schools. Those duties will now be overseen by secondary director Mike Elliott, with various responsibilities divided among other employees, Superintendent Dennis Blatt said.
The decision was a financial one, Blatt said, and had nothing to do with Knoch's performance.
"We're just trying to do the best we can to make ends meet," he said. "We're constantly trying to evaluate what we can do to remain fiscally sound. It's a challenge."
Crone said the center has cash reserves to cover the deficit, but there are other money-saving moves aimed at reducing the deficit, including not filling some empty positions.
"But we're still not in a plus," he said.
Blatt said the same rising costs private citizens are dealing with- like insurance and heating and cooling- are affecting the career center as well.
In her new position, Knoch will earn an annual salary of $63,236.
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