Sumter Schools' New Chief Financial Officer Preaches Transparency

Sumter District new chief financial officer has been on the job just a week, Chris Griner talks about the job and what's happening.

Sumter County, SC (WLTX) -- The Sumter School District's new chief financial officer has been on the job for just over a week. Chris Griner was hired last month to help with the school's budget woes.

"I saw it as a great opportunity and a great challenge, Griner said. "I was very familiar with South Carolina and I was always impressed with the school business officials over here." 

Earlier this school year, the school district discovered that it was $6.2 million in the hole, so the Board of Trustees hired a financial consultant to get the district back on track.

The Board wanted a permanent chief financial officer, so that's why they went ahead with the search.

"The biggest role for me is the budget preparation every year, working through the process," said Griner.

Griner has more than 25 years of accounting experience. He spent the last six in education finance with two school districts in Georgia. One of the districts had a total budget of $179 million, while the other district's total budget was $112 million.

Sumter's total general funding budget is $131 million for the upcoming school year.

"I think, as far as working with the team to try to make sure this doesn't happen again, is really monitoring the budget on a monthly basis," said Griner.

Griner said there needs to be transparency to restore the community's faith in the school district.

"If you have an issue with the budget, you say it up front," he said.

Griner said if the Board of Trustees, the Superintendent and financial staff work together, they can make sure a $6.2 million deficit will not happen again.

"There's no quick cure. It's going to take time to continue to work through the budget and really the monitoring of it is going to be the big part," said Griner.

Griner will earn $140 thousand in his position with the district.

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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