Rossford school audit creates stir


ROSSFORD – The administration and members of the Rossford Board of Education got an earful Monday night
from the citizens who spoke at the regular monthly meeting. Residents were upset with some of the
findings of excess spending and inefficiencies revealed in the recently released performance audit.
The audit, performed by the state auditor’s office at the request of the district, cited numerous
suggestions for the district should on how it should lower its spending to the tune of $3.75 million per
The last person to speak during the public forum, was likely the most critical. Tiffany Densic said the
results of the audit are "spreading like wildfire" through the community.
"I have a lot of questions on the performance audit. I am very distressed to see we are not paying
the bills on time. I am outraged. I demand to know why this is. It affects everything," she said.
"There is waste all over the place and we have been saying this and it falls on deaf ears. You are
ignoring the district constituents."
She said she has previously asked for answers to similar questions and has yet to receive those answers.

"You need to get in front of this, it’s very disconcerting to the community," said her husband
Robert Densic, noting this has been an ongoing issue for "years and years" even before those
sitting on the board were in office.
"The overspending, the overstaffing has to stop," he continued. "Until that happens, we
will never get a levy passed."
Robert Densic also noted the energy costs waste as noted in the audit. He questioned the lack of meetings
of citizen-involved committees which had been praised in the audit.
Roger Gluckin referenced the finance and facilities committees.
"The board and administration needs the support of the community. The talent and resources of the
community should be used," Gluckin said asking the board to research the success of the Citizens’
Advisory Committee of the Wyoming, Ohio school district.
After reminding the board they are elected officials, and the administration they are paid by taxpayers,
Gluckin stated that the citizens of Rossford should be viewed, "not as a bother but as a
Board President Ken Sutter set a special meeting for next Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. The open meeting will
focus on the performance audit and district finances.
After the meeting Sutter said he wanted the board members to have an extra week to "try to
digest" the results of the audit. Both Sutter and Superintendent Dan Creps said they had already
taken many of the steps recommended in the audit prior to its release.
Those steps included negotiated settlements in their contracts, the closing of Indian Hills Elementary
and reduction of staff due to attrition such as retirees not being replaced with new staff. The
superintendent also noted changes in the benefit packages to reduce spending through joining a
"We’ve been working toward this as much as possible," Sutter said.
"We take this audit very seriously," the superintendent said.
Creps listed many of the savings already enacted and referencing Robert Densic’s comment added,
"This started decades ago. You can’t just undo those things overnight."
Stressing the importance that is placed on the quality education of the students, Creps added, "You
can’t always quantify that education component. Every district is unique."
This was a reference to the fact that Rossford ranked poorly among the six other Ohio school districts
which the audit identified as Rossford’s "peers."
He added: "There is work to be done, we’re not ignoring these things and we will use the audit as a
resource as we move forward and continue evaluating our options."
As to the late payment of bills, the superintendent said that is being addressed.
While there was a focus on the audit, citizens also complained they were not getting an earful as the
poor sound in the meeting room prevented those in attendance from hearing all the proceedings.
Both Charlie McKnight and Phil Cramer complained about the inability to hear the board and administration
throughout the meeting.
"The inability to hear in a public is inexcusable," Cramer said.
He also asked what recommendations the district are evaluating based on the audit.
Board member Dawn Burks picked up the microphone in front of her and put it to her mouth with her words
then coming through the speakers.
One of the other people in attendance spoke up from the back saying, "That’s the first thing that
has come through the speakers all night."
The board meets in the Board Room at the Bulldog Center, adjacent to the high school. The former church
building room has high ceilings contributing to the problem.
In other action the board recognized three retiring employees including Holly Schmidbauer, principal of
Indian Hills elementary who has worked for the district since 1999.
Also recognized were Karen Bonnell from the library as well as crossing guard Ed Stolar.

No posts to display