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Ex-West official helping district again

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By Don Pace

Former West Las Vegas Business Manager Naomi Vicenti is again sitting in the chair she used to occupy in the district’s board room.

She is temporarily helping the district figure out its finances after Doug Hendrickson unexpectedly left the business manager’s post last month to take a banking job.

Vicenti is currently the business manager for the Dulce public schools.

Superintendent Jim Abreu welcomed Vicenti, telling the board she would act as a consultant for a short time.

“I’d just like to say I am thankful that she’s here to help us in our time of need,” Abreu said.

Vicenti said her first priority was to make sure teachers have what they need. But she said the finance office has been scrambling to get all the budget entries into the system.

“If we can get things going right from the beginning, I think we will be OK. I just don’t want to fall behind,” Vicenti said.

Board member Kenny Lujan asked Vicenti how the money situation looked.

“Very tight,” Vicenti said. “We went from $3,800 a student to $3,600. They tried to make up some of the loss with the stimulus money, but they only made up half of it — you still lost $1 million from your budget. Looking at your cash balance, Doug (Hendrickson) guessed it would be about $100,000 at the end of fiscal year 2009, but that looks even leaner. We still haven’t had a chance to look at all the staffing and who’s being paid for what, so I’m not sure what I’m looking at yet.”

Vicenti stressed that it would be difficult to inform the board where the district was at financially until she had a chance to look at all of the details.

“Your budget isn’t the only one that is very tight. This is happening all across the state. The state cut our textbook money from $92 per child to $37, so you can afford a third of a book,” Vicenti said.

Vicenti asked the board for more time to go through the district’s financial records.

“If you give me a little more time, I will go through all of this with you at an upcoming meeting to let you know where the money is, where it is coming from and where it is going,” Vicenti said.