Leadership shakeup on School Board’s agenda

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 5, 2014

By Monique Roth

RESERVE – Tomorrow’s St. John the Baptist Parish School Board meeting will cover several issues, including votes related to contracting with legal firms specializing in sales tax collection.

According to School Board documents, the employment of legal counsel specializing in sales and use tax law would provide the board with general legal advice and consultation and representation in lawsuits that may arise from time to time.

A recent state audit revealed that the St. John the Baptist Parish public school system, which received $22.6 million for education from sales taxes last year, must do a better job of evaluating the contractor it hired to collect the money.

The district has been contracted with ACI Inc. for sales tax collection and distribution for the past decade.

ACI serves as the district’s sales tax department. The audit revealed ACI failed to provide the system with an independent auditor’s evaluation of its processes, which means the school system is unable to evaluate the adequacy of the controls of ACI on their financial statements surrounding sales tax collections and distributions.

Felix Boughton, director of finance and business for the school district, is also scheduled to present the board with the quarterly budget report.

Another item on the agenda is in response to District 2 representative Albert Burl’s request for a motion to remove Clarence Triche as president of the board.

At last week’s meeting, the board voted to hire a new firm to create a redistricting plan. Burl has been a staunch opponent of hiring a new firm and has in the past attempted to lobby fellow board members to let the previous redistricting company fix the redistricting plan that they had created. The previous plan was rejected by the state.

When the board voted to hire a new firm at the beginning of last week’s meeting, Burl walked in late as votes were being cast, and he requested time to discuss with the board his opposition to hiring a new redistricting firm. Burl was denied that request. At the end of the meeting, Burl requested the motion on the removal of Triche to be added to this week’s agenda.

The meeting is set for Feb. 6 at 6 p.m. in Reserve.