Steamboat Springs The Education Fund Board emerged from a 45-minute executive session Wednesday night and, without discussion, unanimously approved a motion to seek bids for a new accountant.
After the meeting, Fund Board President Mark Andersen said Steamboat Springs CPA Paul Strong, who serves as the Fund Board’s accountant, didn’t file the group’s annual tax return on time. Because the Fund Board is a nonprofit, Andersen said it doesn’t pay taxes but is required to file a Form 990 every year.
The Fund Board is the organization responsible for allocating money from the city of Steamboat Springs’ half-cent sales tax for education.
Andersen said he didn’t think filing the return late would affect the Fund Board’s tax-exempt status. But he said the Fund Board has spoken to the IRS and is waiting to hear whether there will be a penalty.
Strong couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday night.
Andersen said Strong told the Fund Board that not filing the return was an oversight. Andersen also said the Fund Board is taking steps to fix the problem.
“We’re going to review policies and procedures to make sure there are checks and balances in place so this doesn’t happen again,” Andersen said.
Also after the executive session, the Fund Board approved — unanimously and without discussion — a motion to take bids for a new auditor. Andersen said there haven’t been any issues with the Fund Board’s audits.
Colorado Open Meetings Law states that the purpose of an executive session must be provided in as much detail as possible without compromising the reason for convening the closed session. Fund Board members voted to go into the executive session Wednesday night for the purpose of discussing “contract negotiations.” Open Meetings Law also states that no action or adoption of any position or policy can be taken during an executive session.
Before the executive session, Fund Board members voted unanimously against a $50,000 request to fund a counseling position at one of the Steamboat Springs School District’s elementary schools. The vote came shortly after Steamboat Superintendent Shalee Cunningham told the Fund Board that the district has allocated money from its own budget for the counseling position, which originally had been cut from the 2010-11 school year budget. As a result of the allocation, the district again will have the equivalent of two full-time elementary counselors.
In other action Wednesday, Fund Board members:
■ Heard a first reading to provide more than $99,000 to the Steamboat Springs School District to buy Infinite Visions, a new accounting and human resources software. Several Fund Board members said they were inclined to wait on funding the request. Whether to bring the item back for a second reading will be up to the Technology/Capital Commission, which doesn’t meet again until fall.
■ Approved residents Kris Rowse, Susie Makens and Valerie McCarthy to two-year terms on the Educational Excellence Commission. All have children in the Steamboat Springs School District. McCarthy is a half-time counselor at Soda Creek Elementary School who will move to Strawberry Park Elementary School in the same position next year.